Bored meetings – and how to escape them

Paul Adamson
September 22, 2017

Martin Wolf recently wrote an article in the FT about how meetings were the enemy of productivity and he recommended keeping to no more than six participants. The bigger the organisation, the more people go to a meeting and the less productive it is. So keep it down to half a dozen max.

But a client in Highbury today gave me an even better formula for keeping meetings short and productive. This client can barely keep still – even while on the table he was fidgeting, eager to get up and walk around. He’s run 22 marathons and has great energy. But he doesn’t care for meetings and so when he calls one, he holds them outside while running! He says the great beauty behind this idea is that those in the meeting know what's coming and so have prepared themselves and are very clear about what they want to say – they don’t simply pontificate or 'give air to their teeth', as the Italians say. They know that the longer the meeting goes on, the more exhausted they’re going to get. Better to say what you have to say and get back to the office…

One of his members of staff is a little overweight, my client says, and in the spirit of wanting to help her, he’s taking to holding ‘meetings’ with her on an almost daily basis. It’s working wonders apparently.

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