Stop the Meeting Overload!

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

Annoyed doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.

My company of about 150 people has meetings about absolutely everything. I get it; they want to communicate and share information. However, no one manages those meetings! No one makes sure the topics are on point, that people don’t blather on about nonsense and that we are kept to the timeframe given to us. Today I had a client meeting and I was trapped at the back of our conference room while a colleague shared information that wasn’t relevant to the topic of the meeting.

I am a fan of sharing information and I value clear communication. But I don’t value wasting my time and focusing on things that don’t benefit any of us or the company and what we are trying to do. We are all so busy – “not enough hours in the day” is the mantra around here. We keep a focus on doing the right thing by clients, improving our product quality (we are a technology company serving financial advisors) and on being attentive and responsive. But the way we operate internally is counter to this. If we valued clients and always doing the right thing, we would not waste time on things that don’t really matter.

I’m at a VP level in my company – not top or bottom of the ranks. What can I do to shift this culture, so we are more about efficiency and effectiveness in our communications? I am going to come off as a naysayer or someone who doesn’t think the team deserves to know what is going on if I debate the merits of our meetings and the way we communicate.