BOSTON PUBLIC RADIO
2:54 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

How To End Nightmarishly Boring, Time-Sucking Meetings At Work

Do you have battle scars from meetings that meandered, lost their purpose, got derailed or never really started in the first place? You are not alone.
Credit Let Ideas Compete / Flickr
Boston Public Radio's show for 10/16/13.

On Tuesday, Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn offered Jim Braude and Margery Eagan five suggestions for better work meetings. They were as follows:

  • Use the "phone stack." Stack everybody's phones on the table in the the front of the room. (Smartphones are our "illicit lovers," according to Koehn.)
  • Serve food and beverages. People need to eat and to be refreshed.
  • Start and end on time.
  • Consider not having a meeting at all. Would a drop-by or a phone call suffice? Also, choose your meeting participants carefully, as you would guests for a dinner party. Is every  person necessary? Will everyone contribute?
  • Send an agenda ahead of time with only three items on it. Repeat those three items at the beginning of the meeting.

Jim and Margery asked listeners what they thought of the suggestions, then opened up the lines to hear their horror stories about what Koehn called "the great white-collar crime" — meetings.

Also on BPR:

  • Richard Davey, Secretary of Transportation for Massachusetts, was Wednesday's "Ask The" guest.
  • WGBH's Jared Bowen talked about the BSO's new music director, Andris Nelsons.
  • Boston Globe Editor Brian McGrory was Wednesday's Open Mic guest.
  • David Bernstein and Peter Kadzis recapped last night's mayoral debate.

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