The only good meeting is no meeting. But if you absolutely must hold a traditional meeting keep these points in mind.
Regularly scheduled meetings are a complete waste of time.
No meeting should last more than thirty minutes. If it does it may be because:
- There is no clear purpose.
- You allow others to control the meeting.
- You don’t begin or end on time.
- There are too many attendees.
If a meeting has more than ten people in attendance, it’s a rally not a meeting. Consider using other ways to communicate to large numbers. Start a blog or digital newsletter, for example. Meetings should be brief conversations with few people.
If someone can’t attend a meeting do not, I repeat, DO NOT allow them to phone in. Conference calls quickly turn frustrating for all parties. (I learned this the hard way when one genius placed us on hold filling the room with Mantovani).
If distance is a problem or a person is critical to a decision, have a separate call with the person(s), or investigate Skype or other technologies.
I hold many meetings per day. I call them chats. They are held with one or two people over coffee, at lunch, or maybe in a hallway. The difference between chats and meetings is, our chats get something accomplished.
The best way to conduct a meeting is by not having one.