We have a poster in our staff room that contains this Alain de Botton quote (from a tweet):
When someone can't be bothered to think an issue through & vaguely hopes someone else will come up with the answer: they call a meeting.
Excuse my language, but, Gee Willikers, Monsieur de Botton has this nailed!! Too often that quote is true.
Wouldn't it be great if we had a meeting code - guidelines, if you will, to see us through?
As chance would have it I happened upon this set of meetings about laws...oops, I mean laws about meetings, on Twitter, from the coolly named Dan Rockwell.
Law #1: Thou shalt always declare the purpose of the meeting before it happens.
The most important work of the meeting happens before the meeting. Confusion about purpose is always the result of inept leadership.Law #2: All participants shalt understand and agree that the requirements of law #1 have been fully met.
Declaring the purpose of a meeting doesn’t mean everyone understands or aligns.Law #3: Thou shalt meet to make decisions, never to discuss.
Law #4: Everyone around the table shalt have a stake in the pie.
Law #5: The people closest to the work shalt talk the most.
Law #6: The most powerful person in the room shalt talk the least.
Law #7: Thou shalt engage in lively debate.
When law #6 is violated, law #7 won’t happen.Law #8: The leader of the meeting shalt keep everyone focused and engaged.
Law #9: Thou shalt silence big mouths, even if it hurts their feelings, and engage quiet participants.
Law #10: Thou shalt assign tasks to everyone in the room.
The person who leaves the room without something to do, shouldn’t have attended in the first place.