Look at your schedule for next week. How many meetings do you have? Probably more than you can manage. We sometimes spend whole days in meetings, each longer than the last, and it’s simply exhausting. Why is it? Because no one makes a decision at the end.
The big problem with most companies, is that their meetings are useless. They talk about the project, beat around the bush, talk about future, and go away. And they forget to make a decision at the end! Who does what, when, who does follow-ups, so many questions without answers, that destroy your productivity. It’s not hard to change, it’s actually very easy to bring up. The hardest part will be to go over this habit that is very deeply seeded in most companies. There are a ton of things to be done to improve your meetings, but the most important is that everyone leaves the room with an added value.
If you leave the conference room and you have the impression that you’ve wasted your time, it might be worth it to do a round up next time before leaving. Take the last word at the end, and ask every person present what they learned or received from that meeting. Also ask them what will be their next action after the meeting. Not only will you find out who wasn’t listening, it gives a clear idea to everyone about what they have to do.
It’s a small step, but it is very easy to integrate in any work method. It’s not very aggressive or characteristic, so your employees won’t see this as a major change. It’s actually the least you can do. Really quickly, you’ll notice changes, projects will go better, you’ll see less useless e-mails, and productivity will increase. Especially, those endless meeting days will be either over, or much less exhausting.