It’s about time we reinvented meetings!
I spend a lot of my time talking to and working with managers and leaders.
One of my favourite questions is:
What is the most unproductive part of your day?
In what way?
There are too many, they are too long , rarely achieve an outcome and are boring to attend.
How much of your time is spent in meetings?
This nearly always leads to a rather dejected look on the face of the manager.
I would press on by asking if meetings consume so much of your time and you are time-poor and so much is expected from you, what are you doing about re-designing meetings?
Nothing (followed often by a defeated shrug of the shoulders).
Not that I blame leaders – in a previous life I was one of them and the problem of meetings just seemed too hard.
But with most work being done in groups and teams, we are spending more and more time in them.
It’s not all doom and gloom however.
There are some notable developments in the way groups and teams collaborate and communicate e.g. Stand up meetings.
The startup community uses Daily Scrums for example.
But these are still meetings.
They do not go far enough.
We need to totally reinvent meetings.
My suggestion is Blitz.
A Blitz is as the name implies a fast, focused, short session where a few people get together and Blitz the problem or challenge right there and then.
The idea is rather than automatically calling an hour-long meeting for a problem, a leader or team member can call a Blitz, grab a few people and solve the problem in less than 20 minutes or less.
The Blitz approach is based on a book I wrote called Speed Thinking which suggested that we often produce our best work when there is some sort of time pressure and a clearly defined task.
When this happens, the group can enter a collective ‘flow-like’ state and amazing ideas, solutions and new approaches emerge.
In the organisations where I have introduced Blitz, this new approach has become part of the language of managers and leaders alike.
Let’s Blitz It is shorthand for I have an everyday challenge that I need help on right now – who has a few minutes?
Meetings are still important.
But Blitz provides a third alternative to meetings and brainstorming sessions this is more agile, energizing, creative and productive.
A Blitz can be called by anyone, at any time or any challenge (only 1 per Blitz).
It could be the Blitz leader needs a new solution or wants to bounce an idea off someone or to make a decision or to overcome a barrier.
It does not matter.
In an ever-changing, disruptive world we need to embrace new types of tools.
Blitz is one such tool.
Ready, set Blitz.