Meetings

“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.”
― Dave Barry

PATHS by Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir at HALL Arts, Dallas, Texas

There has been a lot of “talk” about meetings… about Zoom meetings and on and on. I was thinking about this and, as is my wont, writing down notes as a way to discover what I really thought. From my notes:

In my almost half century of working life I have been to… involved with… thousands of meetings. How many have been useful? Thinking hard… the answer is somewhere around six.

Now when I say useful, I know that differs between me and many (most? almost all?) of the others involved – especially the ones setting up the meetings. To me a successful meeting is one that actually accomplishes something… anything. I have been paying attention lately to what most of the folks that schedule these things actually want. They want one (or more, or all) of three things:

  • Butt Covering
  • Blame Shifting
  • Virtue Signalling

Zoom meetings kick this dysfunction up to a new level. I am required to attend a half dozen Zoom meetings a day – from my desk actually at work – where a large number of the attendees are in their living rooms, presumably in their underwear. These meetings can have up to well over a hundred attendees and most are regularly scheduled, repeating meetings. The same four or five people say the same things every time. I can predict the contents and outcome before they begin. It is a frustrating broken Kabuki theater masquerading as work. I end the call unenlightened, de-motivated and angry,.

There are folks that recognize this and are trying to fix it – but I don’t think it is a process problem… it is a people problem.

Sorry for the rant – but I’m sure a lot of people agree with me.