The No. 1 secret to shorter meetings

How to cut meeting time by 90%

Fred Kofman has the answer to one of corporate life's most annoying, life-sucking, time-wasting problems: meetings.

A leadership and coaching expert, Kofman tells LinkedIn that there is one - and only one - reason to call a meeting:

"The only goal for a meeting is 'to decide and commit.' No other objective is worth meeting for."

Any other verb does not merit a meeting. Yes, he says, teams have to discuss, review or update information, but all that can be done in a variety of ways outside the meeting format.

"Yet many teams practice 'voodoo management.' They believe that talking about an issue is enough to (magically) solve it," he notes. "They take pride of 'working' on something while they only express opinions about what 'ought to be done.' But as I wrote here, there is no action without commitment. Not surprisingly, everybody feels frustrated because the issue remains unsolved 'after all the time we spent talking about it.' "

Once everyone is on the same page, then you can meet to decide and commit, Kofman says.

He advises you run a red pen through any non-decisive agenda item verb (such as discuss, update, review, report, etc) and see what's left.

Take any remaining item and answer the following three questions:

“What will we do differently if we succeed in this meeting?”

“Why do we need to meet to accomplish this?”

“How will this help us further the goal of the team?”

"I bet that 90% of your meeting time goes away," he says.

via LinkedIn

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