Tuesday, 25 July 2017

On the Subject of Meetings

This morning, I read through a political news piece talking Jared Kushner (Trump's son-in-law) and his meeting business with the 'Russians'.  At some point, Jared realized that the meeting was a total waste of time, and sent a 'chat' to some associate to call him at the meeting and 'get him out' of the meeting.  The news journalists hyping up all this stuff....seemed amazed at people trying to get out of meetings.

At some point in the early-1990s....I moved from a play-mode to a manager-mode, and then came the realization that you had to go and attend meetings.  Some were a mere fifteen minutes long and drilled quickly down into the issue, and were worthwhile as a meeting.  Some were 90 minutes long, and basically accomplished next to nothing.  I came to value most meetings as worthless.

At some point around 2002 to 2004....I probably was wasting four hours a week in meetings.  In 2010 to 2013.....as a manager within the Pentagon empire, I was lucky to get myself down to 180 minutes per week.  The only enjoyable meeting each week in that last year was the building custodian meeting where all kinds of building renovation or history came out from the chief of the Pentagon building.

I brought this up years ago with a older guy who could remember the 1970s era, and how there were rarely meetings.  In his mind, when the internet and computer era arrived....meetings increased.  As he pointed out.....more people wanted 'stock' ownership in decisions made, and success from meeting decisions rarely paid dividends.

At some point about fifteen years ago....I worked with a female who had a husband who had a degree in business management (the master's degree), and he had weekly meetings with his staff (the wife, and the two kids).  One of the kids was a teenager and had become anti-meeting....thus causing friction in the household.  The wife tried to explain to the husband that these meetings were not of much value, and instead got lectured on the necessity of a 'focused-team'.  I asked the co-worker how would this all end, and she felt the kid would be out the door as soon as she graduated from high-school.

Jared in my humble opinion....has realized the value of meetings.  If you don't reach the necessary chat-topic in five minutes, and reach some solution in fifteen minutes....there's something wrong.  The sad thing is that we probably need thousands of Jareds in the US government, to stop worthless meeting-garbage.

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