Friday, October 24, 2008

And the clock goes, tick, tock, tick, tock...

I do not really understand the need to have long meetings. Unfortunately, in the course of my work, meetings seems to form the staple of "things to do". I would like to think of myself as an aspiring scientific guy (the word scientist seems too distant) with some administrative function to boot - they trust me enough to let me run my own department, hmm.


To be given that kind of additional administrative responsibility is not the actual problem really, other than when...

  1. I need to attend a meeting (administrative/finance/operations/etc in nature), that unfortunately...
  2. starts later than the start time stated on the memo, which means...
  3. the meeting will end later than expected, when sudedenly...
  4. some wise guys JUST HAVE TO parrot and repeat what has been said earlier, or..
  5. suddenly went off tangent and starts to regal us with some oft listened grandmother/'when I was younger..." stories, that...
  6. will definitely lengthen the agony of listening to all these which...
  7. has no connections whatsoever to what is REALLY being discussed in the meetings minutes of this..
  8. sometimes ad-hoc meetings which could be done in a shorter time in the first place!

I have had some meetings that spans a whole day (that is not a workshop, mind you, just a normal monthly meeting), meeting held over two weeks (4.5hrs each part) with the average meeting last 4+ hours. Maybe for some people this is normal, but I do think the longer the meeting are, the harder it would be to keep ALL quorum to be genuinely interested in the meeting. Btw, I DO have a short attention span, hehehe. 


I do think meetings is where information are disseminated, tasks are divided among quorum, objective decided, deadlines reminded and updates reported. My own department weekly meeting tops out at 1hrs max, most of the times 30-45 minutes each. Keep It Short and Simple. So, whats your kind of meeting?

2 comments:

Marissa said...

Dulu kompeni lama, boss Melayu, mengamalkan dasar kerajaan, meeting paling pendek adalah 3 jam.

Sekarang Kompeni baru, meeting paling lama 30 minit. Meeting paling pendek 3 minit. Cukup 30 saat seorang utk update tasks masing-masing.

Some say, KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. Atau kaedahnya,"K.I.S.S".

Love this topic!

Paus Biru said...

Yep, hate stupid meetings that go round and round with no definite conclusion. The problem is, many gomen people are paid to attend them, so they think 'longer is better'.

Our editorial meetings last for 1.5 to 2 hours max, but it covers everything, so it's definitely worth the time spent. Our weekly updates take about 10 to 15 minutes or by email.

To keep the meeting short, one book advocates doing it standing up. Forget the kuih and kopi, and get a garang chairperson to keep things on track. I'd nominate you for that job :)