There’s a reason that organizations looking to implement some form of reduced work week begin with an intentional redesign of their meeting behavior. A 2022 study on meeting productivity found that:
- “Organizations spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings, with surveys showing that 71% of those meetings are considered unproductive.
- “An estimated $37 billion is lost per year to unproductive meetings.
- “Workers spend an average of 31 hours per month in unproductive meetings.” (https://www.zippia.com/advice/meeting-statistics/)
The truth is, whether or not you plan to change the structure of your work week, improving the quality of your meetings can have a significant impact on productivity; employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention; and the bottom line. If you do plan to change the structure of the work week, this is an important first step.
Do-Be Associates Meeting Smarter Program
The Do-Be Associates Meeting Smarter Program is a 3-step process for significantly changing your organization’s approach to meetings.
Find out what is really happening at your meetings right now. Using Meeting Smarter templates, collect data on your existing meetings to better understand what is and is not working. If you want to find out what non-productive meeting time is costing you, plug the data you collect into any “meeting cost calculator;” here is one from HBR.
In preparation for Step 2, identify a working team of 6-10 people from within the organization to participate in the workshop. The team should include those who will be making the decisions on any recommendations coming out of the Meeting Smarter Workshop as well as others who are key influencers in the organization.
2. Meeting Smarter Workshop
The Meeting Smarter Workshop is a 4-1/2 hour virtual session facilitated by the Do-Be Associates. During the workshop you will be guided through a series of activities that will result in the following outcomes.
- A set of meeting norms for the organization and for meeting participants based on your prework data and best practices templates provided during the workshop
- A team of people committed both individually and collectively to supporting those norms as the new way of meeting in the organization
Leaders will be asked to approve, defer a decision, and/or reject specific norms during the course of the workshop.
3. Smarter Meetings
Following the workshop, your organizational leaders will be expected to make a decision on any outstanding norms from Step 2 within two weeks. The new norms should be distributed to all members of the organization with those in attendance at the workshop acting as advocates for the adoption. It is recommended that at the two-month and six-month anniversaries of launching the new norms, the Meeting Smarter templates by used to once again collect data, assess what is and is not working, and make any needed adjustments.
Optional Group and/or Individual Coaching
While your Meeting Smarter workshop can stand alone, many leaders find that significant behavioral changes such as this become the norm much more quickly when paired with group and/or individual coaching. The ways in which this option may be implemented can be discussed during your exploratory meeting with the Do-Be Associates.
To Find Out More
Send an email to the Do-Be Associates with “Meeting Smarter” in the subject line. Include a brief introduction to yourself and your organization, as well as the best way to schedule a one-hour conversation with the Do-Be’s. If you have someone who handles your scheduling or a scheduling link, that is preferred.