Do we need so many meetings?

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Do we need so many meetings?

It seems to me that we could do with far fewer meetings and just share the information in a better way with an email or a shared document. In many of the companies I have worked at, I always felt like meetings were just a way to pass the time and not really focus on being productive.

Why do I say this? In every meeting, someone says something like we are just rehashing an earlier conversation. I ask what concrete/actionable steps we can do to make this happen. Too often meetings are used to diffuse responsibility instead of taking it.

Now some of you might say we need meetings to get ideas and build consensus. Fine, the first meeting you do that. However, I see that many meetings are just rehashes of previous meetings that had no follow-through. Until steps are done to fix the problem, the meetings keep happening.

It surprises me that people like to waste their time like this. I don’t want to waste my time. I want to see progress made every day towards a goal. If I don’t see progress made towards a goal then I get bored and unengaged. I want to be engaged at work. However, it is a challenge when most of your coworkers are not engaged and just throw blockers in your way to slow things down.

Work is a strange combination of people feeling that talking about something is going to get it done. I see plenty of managers who want to push things back or say that we don’t have enough time/resources to fix the problem. Perhaps we don’t, but then we can hire consultants or whoever is a resource to address this. There is no reason to say that we don’t have time. We don’t have the willingness to manage the project, which is closer to the truth.

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