As the title Meetings Suck suggests, meetings could be better. The reason that meetings are ineffective, as the author points out, is that we don’t know how to make meetings better. As a result, we hold the same boring meeting “routine”.
Can we break out of this routine or are we doomed to repeat the same procedure that bored us and the coworkers before us?
What is Meetings Suck About?
The key problem with meetings, according to Meetings Suck: Turning One of the Most Loathed Elements of Business into One of the Most Valuable, is that we abandon our psychology in favor of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead of providing a meeting that is time-efficient, focused, centered around value and not just presence, we focus on having the same type of “meeting”. We invite people who don’t need to be there. We let meetings stray off topic and don’t keep a consistent schedule.
No wonder everyone hates meetings.
Instead of doing that, the book suggests, meetings should happen on a consistent schedule and have a carefully controlled time-frame, (not be allowed to go on and on.) Organizers should know what type of meeting they are looking to hold (the book outlines a dozen types from retreats to WAR meetings) and use that knowledge to set parameters on that meeting. For example, you may not want to invite all of your IT Department to the budget meeting if they will have no input into creating or modifying that budget.
The book delves into more than just how to set the rules for a meeting. It delves into the dynamics of a meeting, from personality types (like introverts vs extroverts) to how to write an effective agenda.
The book’s author, Cameron Herold, is an entrepreneur, speaker and business coach with 20-years experience in fostering business growth. (One of his clients is a member of the royalty.) Harold’s experience includes building two million-dollar companies by age 35 and engineering the extremely successful media campaign for 1-800-GOT-JUNK.
What Was Best About Meetings Suck?
The first benefit to reading Meetings Suck is its conciseness. The book doesn’t go overboard with details. It provides the minimum information you need to get started immediately. If you are someone who wants to fix your meeting procedures, you can literally open the book to any chapter and find something that can be implemented in 5 minutes or less.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
The only downside to Meetings Suck is the sheer number of meetings suggested by the book. There are Daily Huddles, weekly meetings, monthly meetings, annual retreats, ad hoc meetings, etc. If you are a big business or just love meetings, this will be no problem. If you are a small business (say with less than 20 people), this might be a challenging schedule to adopt.
Why Read Meetings Suck?
If you are an executive who is tired of the same old boring meeting but realize the necessity of meetings, this small book may be perfect for you. As discussed above, the book doesn’t get into unnecessary details. It helps leaders plan a quick agenda, gives tips on how to start and control a meeting, while also providing a schedule of when to conduct meetings. What more could a leader want?
If you are an employee who wants to improve the quality of your meetings, this book might also be of benefit. The book details the draining financial and labor cost of inefficient meetings and directs attention on how to fix this without spending money (in most cases) or losing time.