What If Meetings Were Companies?

As I’m learning the art of mastering meetings this comparison came to mind. If meetings were thought of as companies, what would your companies look like?

Many of us complain about the plethora of useless meetings we go to. If those were companies, I presume they would be bankrupt by now.

Let’s entertain this idea with a follow-up question: What are some characteristics of companies?

Your answer may be similar to mine:

  • There are many types of companies.
  • They all seem to stand for something.
  • They all have a strategy or plan of action.
  • They have hiring requirements.
  • There are many different departments within.

I’m sure most of us agree these are important items to consider when building a great company. I also venture to say that most of us believe meetings are a necessary part of the process. Yet, why do we just keep the cycle of useless meetings?

If we were to treat meetings like companies, we would:

  • Realize there are different types of meetings.
    • Check-ins, Informational, brainstorming, strategic, learning, alignment, consensus, etc.
  • Give purpose to each meeting.
    • Just like there is a purpose to each department in a company.
  • Start planning and preparing for each meeting.
    • Apple didn’t build the iPhone by winging it.
  • Select the right people. 
    • Just like recruiting, people in meetings must be selected based on the type of meeting. Enough of the “just in case” mentality.
  • Have a “product” at the end of each meeting.
    • All companies create something: a phone, website, ads, watches, commodities. Meetings should do the same thing.

I believe it’s time for us to start thinking about meetings as if they were companies. What do you think?

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – John Wooden
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One thought on “What If Meetings Were Companies?

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  1. I’ve learned that every meeting needs a PAL… Purpose, Agenda, Logistics. Without that “friend” you can run aground quickly. There needs to be a purpose to gather, an idea (agenda) of what is worthy for this gathering, and you need to know how much time you will commit to each topic. Focus on ensuring these things are in place before you start – and you are much closer to guaranteeing the meeting will be valuable.

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