What other meetings can we remove? What else can we cut from our calendars?

Bob and I have another brainstorm as we continue our quest to remove meetings on our calendars.

“Hey Bob, we did great in eliminating status and informational meetings. Maybe we can teach people we don’t need a meeting when sharing or gathering information. We can do that asynchronously. For example, we can use Slack or video messaging to distribute and collect information. We can link it to Wiki for more details, like what we did last time.”

Bob: “That’s a good idea, Wendy. I don’t think people know how to do things asynchronously properly. BTW, we have a company offsite soon. Didn’t Peter say it’s a picnic theme, and he proposed 3 ideas of fun things to do? So, can we get people’s input on which idea they like best asynchronously?”

Me (Wendy): “Oh yes! And we need to get a decision by next week. How about we do that in Slack?”

Bob: “Slack?”

Me: “Well, Slack has a poll feature. You can put a bunch of options in, then ask everyone to vote on the option they like. We can also put “other” as an option so people can put their ideas in. Tell people that the poll is only open for 3 days. This way, we can get the votes early, and a decision is made without needing a meeting.”

Bob: “I’m not so sure about the “other” option you mentioned. What if we get some creative ideas that are outside of the budget and it wins the vote?”

Me: “Hmm… good point. Maybe we can tell people the budget. If they don’t know how much something costs, don’t propose it or research it first. That way, they get to learn as well.”

Bob: “Hmm, ok. But what if there are good ideas from the “other” options other than Peter’s or if multiple options get the same number of votes?”

Me: “Then we call a meeting to discuss and decide.”

After brainstorming with Bob on Slack, I send a slack message to Peter, telling him what Bob and I are going to do.

Peter: “Interesting idea. But what if we don’t have enough people responding in 3 days?”

Me: “First, I don’t expect everyone to vote, but I think we should have enough. If we don’t after a day or two, I’ll remind people. Second, if we still don’t have enough votes, I can: 1) Put a placeholder meeting on everyone’s calendars a week from now. Tell people that if we don’t get enough votes, they will have to show up to the meeting. 2) Tell people that this is their time to voice their opinions. If they don’t want to vote, they give up that right, and we’ll choose from the votes that we have. What do you think?”

Peter: “Ok, I’m willing to try. And I like the first option. I think people would be incentivized to voice their opinion if they don’t have to sit in another meeting. I know I would.”

Off they go! How do you think people respond? Come back next time and I’ll tell you how this experiment turns out!

Read the rest of Wendy’s story here:


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