Creative Leadership

Stop Meeting in Conference Rooms

I hate meetings – no question.  I’m a believer that most meetings could happen in 5-10 minutes, but even most scheduling programs like Outlook, iCal, or Google Calendar schedule meetings in 30-60 minute blocks.  But let me go one further – stop having meetings in the conference room and start meeting at the place where the problem lives.  Meeting at the location of the problem allows everyone to see it, point to it, and discuss specifics.

Here’s my suggestions:

First – cancel as many meeting as possible.  In most cases, you’re only taking good people away from doing real work.  Certainly there’s a time for critical meetings, but start being more selective.
Second – If you have to meet, keep it short. Bring an agenda and once it’s done and someone is chosen to follow up, declare it finished and walk out.
Third – meet at the location of the problem. Look at it, discuss it, find a solution, and then move on.

See how much your productivity increases.


Related Articles


  1. Outlook or Lotus Notes should have a function that automatically adds the cost of peoples’ time in the subject line of a meeting.

    I’ve been to thousand dollar+ meetings where the the first several hundred dollars are wasted waiting for other people to turn up.

    Maybe that wouldn’t happen if the last person to arrive was sent the bill.

  2. Anthony Pearson that is an inspired comment.  Love that idea.  I think a lot of people don’t even consider the fact that there are both hard and soft costs associated with hosting a meeting – from the coffee and scones to the tens of thousands of man hours wasted every year.



  3. I like the theory that you take all of the chairs out of the conference rooms. That’s one way to make sure meetings don’t last any longer than needed.

  4. I agree with all your points. Meetings are usually wasted time because they are not structured properly and the outcomes can be predetermined. Knowing this, we have quick structured meetings with followups when necessary.

  5. Great ideas… But I’d like a show of hands on how many of you work in a matrix managed organisation.

    In my particular case it’s even worse as key poeple in my stream of work are spread across multiple buildings and I’d be lucky to see colleagues in corridors!

  6. It actually came up in my review that I was “insubordinate” for not having weekly “creative meetings” with other department heads in the organization.  My boss wanted me to, so I did.  For three weeks.  One hour per meeting.  After three wasted hours, I stopped having them.  You can’t force people to be creative, especially in a conference table meeting format.  So I took my lumps for doing what I knew was right…to NOT have the meeting.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker