Monday, May 9th, 2016

Another Meeting? Oh, The Horror!

IMG_2515“To get something done a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent.” – Robert Copeland

Meetings, and the need for them, are on my mind currently.

During the last two weeks of April and into early May, I hear from many CPAs and their people. They save a lot up over busy season!

It is also the beginning of conference season. The time when CPAs and their people attend various conferences and gather some valuable and insightful information to help make their firm a better place to work and a better resource for their clients.

Some of these conversations and topics come back to an age old issue. We have too many meetings!!

CPA leaders really do want to include people. Retention of top talent demands that you have an inclusive culture. Younger generations want to be “in the know.” Yes, they want to be heard but they also want to simply listen. But, be aware, they do not want to attend a meeting that turns out to be a big waste of time.

There was a good article recently o the HBR site, “A Step-by-Step Guide to Structuring Better Meetings.”

Frequently, teams fail to link the structure (content, frequency, and duration) of their meetings with the job that needs to be accomplished. A one-size-fits-all meeting doesn’t work.

Here are some steps to follow (read the entire article to learn more about each step).

  1. Define the work of the team
  2. Parse the items into different categories so meetings can be tailored to the content
  3. Determine the frequency with which you need to discuss each category
  4. Set the length of the different meetings
  5. Plan for overflow

Get away from the “general” type meetings where you try to cover too many things and include too many people.

This also applies to partner retreats. Don’t try to cover too many topics. Focus on the most important (one or two) and work at getting something accomplished rather than sending people home with the feeling they wasted two days.

  • "Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything."
  • John Kenneth Galbraith

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