How to make your meetings effective and productive. This book confronts this issue, which has plagued companies around the world, by combining academic research in the field of science with fact-finding surveys of mega companies around the world. What is the truth of the meeting that the science of the meeting has revealed?

Many meetings are held daily in every organization, which is a big investment for the organization. Nevertheless, it is a terrible situation that the results have not been verified and the "bad meetings" have been left unattended.

The important thing is how to increase and establish "good meetings". The author generously introduces concrete ideas and know-how to make the meeting productive and meaningful, including numerous cases and analysis results. For example, you can avoid sticking to the one-hour frame of the meeting, or adopt "brain writing" that utilizes the power of silence so that the people who speak at the meeting are not fixed.

This book should be read not only by leaders who are aware of issues in meetings, but also by young business people who will be in a position to lead meetings in the future. Please upgrade your meetings to help build a highly productive team.

Main points of this book

Point 1

Companies are spending huge amounts of money on meetings. Meetings are essential for organizations and teams, but the problem is leaving bad meetings unattended. Leaders should know the reality of the meetings they lead.

Point 2

Meetings are not always optimal for an hour. In addition, the introduction of an extremely short meeting "huddle" can have a great effect.

Point 3

To keep a super meeting, you need to use various techniques and make small changes. The appearance of the leader who challenges is a positive message to the members.

Is a meeting necessary evil?

Have you left a bad meeting?

By nature, meetings are essential for an organization or team. Without meetings, teamwork, partnerships, and members' sense of belonging cannot be enhanced. It also has the effect of sharing problem solving with everyone.

But in reality, there are many "bad meetings." Many leaders may think that useless meetings are a necessary evil and leave them alone.

First, consider the cost of a meeting. In the United States, 55 million meetings are held daily. Costs such as labor costs are estimated to be about 1.4 trillion dollars, which is 8.2% of US GDP in 2014. In addition, bad meetings come with indirect costs of "opportunity loss costs" and "psychological costs." For this reason, bad meetings can be a waste of money.

What is the science of meetings?

Drucker, the god of management, said, "Meetings are a medical condition peculiar to bad organizations. The less they are, the better." But the meeting itself is necessary, and the important thing is to improve it.

The author has been studying "meeting studies" to turn meetings into more productive and effective times. Meeting studies is a discipline that studies meetings scientifically from the perspective of group dynamics. The target is really wide, such as "structure", "decision-making style", "lateness", and "cohesion". It is also important to intervene in the field and collect data. By using various methods in science and field, you can learn about various aspects of meetings and the secrets to successful meetings.

Upgrade meetings

Leaders overestimate themselves

Humans tend to overestimate themselves. Therefore, it is difficult to correctly evaluate one's leadership in a meeting. According to a survey conducted by the authors, meeting leaders score higher on meeting performance than general attendees. There is also a result that the more people speak, the higher the satisfaction level. However, attendees' evaluations are quite different. Leaders overestimate the meetings they lead and hide their shortcomings and weaknesses. It's also unfortunate for the participants.

Three questions to know the actual situation of the meeting

In order for leaders to evaluate themselves correctly, it is essential to know the actual situation of the meetings they lead. The specific evaluation points are as follows. Participants are doing other work on their smartphones, having unrelated chats, only leaders are speaking, and one or two of the attendees are monopolizing the remarks. If this is the case, efforts will be needed to improve it.

To get a formal evaluation of the meeting, take a survey. You should ask the following three questions in the questionnaire. (1) What are my actions that are "not suitable for a leader" (what I should stop doing), (2) what are "what I have to start anew", and (3) what I am doing well as a leader What is (to continue)?

Become a giver

The ideal leader for a meeting is a "servant leader" who is dedicated to supporting the team. Servant leaders are leaders who help others succeed and encourage each member to develop their talents and reach their team's goals more efficiently.

It is said that people who work in an organization always judge whether they are "givers = givers" or "people who prioritize their own interests = takers". Organizations that have a “give culture” that does not seek rewards have extremely high profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. Actively helping others and encouraging their growth will not only enhance the effectiveness of the meeting, but will also enrich life itself.

[Must read point!] Meeting optimization

Is the meeting appropriate for one hour?

There are various customs and cultural differences in the world. However, it seems that the length of the meeting is one hour, which is universal. In fact, this one-hour window may reduce meeting productivity.

It is "Parkinson's law" that supports it. This law states that "people spend as much time and money as they have", and many studies and experiments have proved its correctness. From a different point of view, it can be said that "shortening the time increases the concentration of attendees and improves efficiency in order to finish in time."

If it is appropriate for the content and goals of the meeting, there is no problem even if the time is 48 minutes. Once you have decided on the right time, you can reduce it by another 5% to 10% to create the right amount of pressure. That would avoid the effects of Parkinson's law.

"Huddle" introduced by Apple and White House

Extremely short meetings are now widespread among businesses. It is the "huddle" that has scrutinized it. Apple and the White House are also introducing huddle.

The huddle rules are as follows: One discussion should be 10 to 15 minutes long, held at the same place at the same time every morning, start on time and end on time, attendees are always the same and all attendees are in principle possible Then stand up and do it.

The contents to be discussed are the following four points.

・ What happened? What are the major achievements?

・ What will happen in the future?

・ How is our work evaluated in comparison with the key evaluation criteria?

・ What is hindering my progress?

Of course, the content may be tailored to the priorities and needs. The main purpose of the huddle is to "promote communication among members and enhance their sense of unity." Be aware that you will meet each other. If it's an in-depth story, it's a good idea to hold another meeting. The huddle is a style for making big returns with a small investment.

Does the meeting go better if you keep silent?

How to make it easier to create synergies at meetings?

One of the expectations people have for a meeting is synergistic. It is hoped that a chemical reaction between the members will occur and a wonderful idea will be born. However, there is no time to list the cases where "failure works" were born at a meeting that gathered ace-class human resources in the company. According to one study, meetings have a synergistic effect of about 10% to 15% of meeting time.

The main reason that synergies are less likely to occur is that meeting attendees only present information that members know. Known information is easy to get the approval of the participants, and unknown information may surprise the participants and disturb the atmosphere of the place. As a result, many people are reluctant to give out new information, and as a result, synergies are less likely to occur.

In order to create a synergistic effect of the meeting, it is also effective to include members who oppose it. Disturbing the atmosphere of the field is necessary to reach the correct conclusion without falling into groupthink, and increases the possibility of creating synergistic effects.

The utility of writing silently

In order to increase the quantity and quality of ideas, it is advisable to incorporate "brain writing". This is to silently write opinions and ideas on an agenda.

There are three reasons why brain lighting is effective. The first is that speech blocking is less likely to occur. Avoid forgetting ideas while others are speaking. Second, don't be ashamed to write your ideas anonymously. The third is that all attendees will be able to participate because the attendees will always give their opinions. According to the survey, the total amount of ideas was 20% more when brainstorming was performed than when brainstorming was performed, and 42% more when focusing on original ideas.

Silence is gold

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thought that presentation-based meetings would be influenced by things like "look," "good talk," and "good materials." Then, the content of the story may not be evaluated correctly. Therefore, the company began to take the time of "silent reading of materials".

Prepare materials for silent reading at the meeting and allow 10 to 30 minutes for silent reading at the start. This is a really effective method. Attendees do not need to read the material in advance, and all members can start the meeting with the material read carefully. People read faster than speak, and they can control their comprehension by reading back. Therefore, we can expect a deeper understanding of the subject and more lively discussions.

Reliable methods of meetings and the theory that makes them possible

Accumulate small changes

Former Intel CEO Andy Grove said, "Stealing employee time is the same as stealing company equipment." In fact, meetings are a big investment for the company, but their returns are never scrutinized.

What do leaders need to achieve ideal meetings and super meetings? It's about getting back just 10% of the member's time. That way, you can get great rewards for the entire organization. The important thing is to keep making small changes patiently.

How to "keep" a super meeting?

Here are some of the techniques presented in this book for "keeping" super meetings. The first preparation a leader should make is to "visualize" the meeting. Take 5 to 10 minutes to imagine important points, risks, and meeting flow.

Then in the preparation phase, decide on meeting time, agenda, attendees, and meeting structure. On the agenda, I want to put the most important agenda first. If you always start with a status report, it's a good idea to turn it towards the end. Also, if the number of participants is large, it will be difficult to gather opinions, so it is better to narrow down the number of participants. But don't forget to follow the members you decide not to call.

Proceed while feeling the effect

Bad meetings have a negative impact on the team and the organization. The solution is to have the right meetings and benefit your team or organization. First of all, it is essential that the leader himself realizes the improvement of the meeting by making full use of the ideas and techniques introduced in this book. The appearance of the leader who takes on the challenge will be a positive message to the members and will become the culture of the team.

Recommendation of reading

The points at the end of each chapter and the seven tools at the end of each chapter will be of great help in putting the contents of this book into practice. In particular, the more you use the seven tools, the more powerful you will feel. For example, Tool 4's "Huddle Introduction Checklist" is useful because it summarizes how to introduce and proceed with huddle, which is still unfamiliar in Japan, in a checklist format. This book is recommended for all leaders who want to increase the effectiveness and productivity of their meetings.