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A meeting between members of a department


When talking to young entrepreneurs, I am usually keen on advising them on different management strategies to help them maximize profits and minimize waste. One way to manage teams is through holding regular briefs, consultative meetings, brainstorming sessions, and strategy meetings.

However, meetings sometimes fail to meet their objectives. 

Company meetings have been blamed for being too long with little demonstrable output that benefits the overall organization’s goals. The time and effort allocated to these meetings have in turn become costly and in the end counterproductive to the overall corporate agenda. 

Lowering the cost of meetings is a cost-effective move that organizations are currently adapting.

The 4 ways to reduce the cost of a meeting

Adopt strategies to ensure that communication is open to avoid frequent meetings

Open communication channels negate the need for frequent meetings.

When you break it down, there are really only four ways to reduce the cost of a meeting:

  • Eliminate it entirely.
  • Reduce the number of people.
  • Reduce its duration.
  • Reduce its frequency (if it’s a recurring meeting).

Eliminating meetings entirely

Ineffective meetings should be eliminated entirely

Ineffective meetings should be eliminated entirely.

Eliminating a meeting can be done by canceling it or conducting it asynchronously. That means using asynchronous communication methods like Slack, email, video/audio recordings, and Loom for video instead of holding a meeting. This saves time, frees up people’s schedules, and has many other benefits that come with asynchronous communication.

Reducing the number of attendees

Reducing the number of people can be done by taking Musk’s advice and leaving meetings where you’re no longer adding value. But it can also be done by strongly considering who needs to be there in the first place. Remember, you can always pull someone in for a portion of the meeting or send out meeting notes afterward to keep people in the loop.

Reducing the duration of meetings

meetings should be kept short to keep everyone interested, alert and enthusiastic

Meetings should be kept short to keep everyone interested, alert, and enthusiastic. 

Reducing the duration is an easy one. I’ve found that people tend to conform to whatever length of time a meeting is scheduled for. Try this experiment: cut all your recurring meetings by 15 minutes and see what happens. When I did this, there was almost no impact. We still covered everything we would have previously, we just used our time more efficiently.

Reducing the frequency of meetings

Reducing the frequency is another one that Musk and I agree on. Sometimes, meetings are scheduled frequently because things are changing rapidly and people need to check in with each other. Once they stabilize, those meetings should become less frequent. The reality is that moving a weekly meeting to biweekly often has very few negative consequences–but it halves the cost of the meeting.

Try it and see what happens.

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