Making Meetings Manageable

14 01 2014

“You’re 40 minutes late.  Now that’s the same as stealing!” ~Mr. Dickey, character from “The Mask”

 I came here from a culture where meetings pretty consistently started on time, and most everyone was ready to go at the scheduled start of the meeting.  The culture at my new organization seems to have a little more “slippage” to the start of meetings.  I understand that, when blending cultures, the new culture is a blend of the 2 old cultures.  I also understand that, many times, meetings run late, and the best work might be happening in the “overtime” of some meetings.  While nobody is going to be on time to every meeting, I ask that my teams do what they can to start and end meetings on time.  That means, with 5 minutes left, go over the deliverables, and stop in time for a bathroom break, or whatever, before starting the next meeting. 

 Yes, it’s one of my 3 pet peeve’s (The second is making a guess, but representing it as a fact, and the third is not replying to an e-mail within 2 business days, either with an answer, or with the deadline by which you’ll get back to me with an answer).  Like the quote says, being late is like stealing.  It may be stealing the valuable time of the others who are waiting on you.  It may be stealing money, because time is money, and having 12 people idle for 5 minutes is an hour of lost productivity at the average hourly rate of the room.  It might just be that you’re stealing a little respect away from the people who are waiting on you to get started.  But, in the end, it’s your call.  Everyone will be late sometimes, but that’s way better than someone being late every time.

 Speaking of the Mask…

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Rubes Cartoons used with permission.  www.rubescartoons.com

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