Me (Wendy): “Hey Bob, now that we got rid of that meeting with Peter, I think we can get rid of other meetings from our calendars.”
Bob: “I’m all ears!”
Me: “How about the Tuesday weekly status meeting that takes forever? Most people just sit there. Only a few ask questions. What if we cancel that meeting and do status updates asynchronously instead? We can set up some easy format on Wiki for people to input status. Every Tuesday morning, folks put in short status updates on Slack. Then we can see at a glance which things are not good. For anything that is not good, they can go to the Wiki for more info. Otherwise, they don’t need to go to Wiki at all.”
Bob: “Sounds like a good experiment to try. Let’s try this for a month before asking team members what they think. I want to make sure people get used to the change before soliciting feedback.”
Me: “Ok. Oh, can we also suggest that Peter do the same with his weekly staff meeting? At least the status portion? And shorten his staff meeting to only discuss things that have issues or need discussion? The rest, we can read on Slack! We can also try this for a month and see if all of us (Peter and his direct reports) like this new approach.”
Bob: “I like your idea. Oh, Wendy, you’re going to ask Peter, right? 😉 ”
I have to say, I’m quite proud of our suggestions. Both our teams and Peter agree to try. We save a few hours each week, and the meetings are now more engaging.
This is just the start of our journey, to figure out what needs a meeting, what doesn’t, how we handle things outside of a meeting, and how we collaborate with our teammates. Stay tuned for our next experiments!
In the meantime, you can see all the articles I’ve written on the subject on meetings.