CHICAGO–According to one analysis that claims to have reviewed 19-million meetings, most are pointless and will cost U.S. companies $399 billion in 2019. But there are ways to fix that, according to one person.
Writing on Inc.com, Peter Economy pointed to research done by online scheduling service Doodle of those 19-million meetings and interviews with more than 6,500 working professionals in the U.S., U.K., and Germany that found most of those professionals dissatisfied with poorly organized meetings.
According to the report, respondents most often cited:
- Poorly organized meetings mean I don't have enough time to do the rest of my work (44%)
- Unclear actions lead to confusion (43%)
- Bad organization results in a loss of focus on projects (38%)
- Irrelevant attendees slow progress (31%)
- Inefficient processes weaken client/supplier relationships (26%)
But Economy said the good news is there are things anyone can do to make their meetings better, more efficient and more effective. Doodle's State of Meetings report suggests that doing these four things can make a big difference:
- Set clear objectives for your meeting
- Have a clear agenda
- Don't have too many people in the room
- Use visual stimulus such as videos and presentations
“With the average business meeting running about an hour, the cost of ineffective meetings to an organization can add up very quickly,” wrote Economy. “Before you reserve a room and send out invitations, take a few moments to consider why you want to call your meeting in the first place. Who should be present? What outcomes do you expect as a result of the meeting? What impact do you hope to have?
“As with any tool, meetings will yield the results you want only when their limitations are taken into consideration and dealt with,” he stated.