The following video transcript is generated automatically by a computer algorithm that learns and gets better on a daily basis. Please accept our apologies if some content below doesn’t make sense:

So speaking of the CEO’s role, as well as the fund raising and the sales and the office manager and making sure the toilet rolls in the office toilet. Another very important role for the CEO is to sort of chair and manage the meetings that occur in a company. So as soon as you get to the point where there’s more than one of you, then you’re going to start to have meetings. And meetings in many ways are the lifeblood of companies and of start ups. But they can also be the sort of the biggest drain. And and there’s an art definitely to having a good meeting. So we’ve got a tweet here from a guy called Steve Schuffman, who’s an angel investor, and he’s the creator of Found a Library. And he is talking about meetings and the quality of meetings. He says if you want to improve the quality of your meetings, just ask these questions before you dive in. No one who’s leading or facilitating. Number two, he’s capturing notes and action items. Number three, what’s your objective? Number four, what’s the desired outcome? And number five, what does success look like? I in my personal experience, you know, I have been a participant in many, many, many, many meetings, as I’m sure everyone on the planet has. I’ve also led quite a few meetings in my role as kind of like CTO, a private company. I’ve led quite a few technical meetings and done sort of scrum and agile and things like that, which are, you know, have some meeting components to them. They’re they’re more structured than sort of typical business meetings, but. Meetings can be the absolute death of companies or it can be the death of productivity for sure. I think typically there’s there’s a knee jerk reaction where any sort of decision needs to happen, where everyone says right. Someone says the person who needs that sort of decision, wools, will have an edge, I think. Let’s have a meeting. And most meetings, a lot of meetings are called on an ad hoc basis. And without having that kind of structure and without having a when they get to free form is when things start going downhill because it’s really easy to call a meeting. It’s quite hard to cancel a meeting. It’s very easy to answer meeting with having no preparation. And it’s quite hard. To have a meeting where you are, do you come prepared? But the quality and outcome of the meeting is is, I would say, exponentially proportional to the amount of pre effort the people are put into that meeting. Meaning? So very famously, for example, when I was in the way Jeff Bizos runs meetings, is that he has any point that has to be brought up in a meeting with an Amazon. The person has to prepare a memo prior to the meeting, which gets circulated to all the people who attended the meeting prior to the meeting. And everyone is expected to read that before the meeting. So in other words, people are turning up with a pre prepared thought out. I’m very structured like the way they prepare their memos. It’s not just a free thing. It’s very structured and destruction headings. And exactly like Steve’s last month saying in this tweet, everyone comes with the no pre knowledge of what it is. The problem is that they need to discuss or they owe the decision that needs to be made. And the way the meeting works is literally as just a coordination point of right. Everyone has an understanding who needs to discuss a point or bring something up or do whatever. And then a decision is taken and you move on to the next thing. I know as an engineer, I have I have a preference for structure in all things. But I have a preference for structure meetings. The worst kind of meeting is where a very important person in the business turns up and, you know, basically sits there sort of pontificates for like two hours on some given topic to feel important. I’ve been in plenty of those meetings over the years. And, you know, the productivity losses, you know, if you’ve got 10 people in the room, that’s like every hour of the meeting is 10 hours lost productivity in the in the company, you know. So they’re very expensive. What what do you sort of focus on meetings in your experiences with meetings?

Yeah, I agree that they need to cost structure. I would also say that you should I discourage having too many meetings, especially long meetings. And I would say also it depends on what’s the meeting about.

So if it’s technical by design, development or engineering.

Yeah. Probably unless there is a big problem to solve. Or are these Corey session, then it’s probably better to do like a daily 10 minute, you know, standups or dot.com stuff, whereas more like a follow up to make sure there are things are going well.

And this is like fourth session to clear doubts.

But other than that, maybe a weekly sprink goes something like that. But that’s more for. Again, for processes that, you know, have milestones on uncap anisette, squint sequential. So for our team to start working on something, someone else needs to get our parts done. So then it’s important to know how that’s going on, the progress and so on.

But when it comes to other types of less tangible meetings, from our results point of view, like age are or or your business or strategy or even your brother design or those brainstorming meetings could be very dangerous.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t cut it. Yeah, definitely.

You should go with an end goal in mind, at least one for the meeting. You should really keep it short as possible. And also, if you can do it remotely without, you know, people meeting up physically, that’s important as well, because it really takes a lot of time. I mean, people will go see my coffee do online and offline. Here you are on this. How are you? What did you do last weekend? So. So it’s not only about the meeting itself, but all that preparation for the meeting and the post meeting. So. So it’s really you should really think thoroughly before calling for a meeting. Have you got questions? Just, you know, cop calls. That’s very, very efficient. Phone calls. But also you have a lot of tools that are like Newcome post questions like on Slack and received responses on demand or collaborate on slike very efficiently without the need of having meetings all the time. And there are other like project management tools as well, not to not only say always email.

You know, I think you and us, we don’t have many meetings. And when we do, it’s mainly a podcast. What we do is just to solve something. But it’s not about yet. Probably, you know, that that speaks well on how we complement each other.

But still, I think in general, you will see a mosque as well. Asking Tesla to meet is a very short 50 minutes or don’t have them at all. Just cop calls on this and that nowadays. Yeah. Time is the prime asset. So, yeah, you shouldn’t be trapped into bureaucracy or socialising is fine. But don’t don’t mix it with meetings, don’t mix productivity with socialising. And that’s there’s a very thin line there.

I I’m quite a big fan of, so I think once you get beyond a certain number of people within a company, then sort of meetings become a necessary evil in many ways. I think when when you’re sort of like small five, six, up to five or six people, I think you can do things on an ad hoc basis like you’re describing there, which is like you can just sync and connect babe with a phone call or WhatsApp or whatever it might be, and stuff just gets sorted out. Naturally, just because of the natural communication you have between people. I think once you get beyond a certain number and I think the number will be different for different sorts of businesses and it will just be different depending upon the sorts of roles that are involved in the meeting as well, whether it’s like very junior in very senior or whether they’re sort of equivalent his I’m quite a big fan of sort of structured. Ways of running businesses. So there’s there’s a good one, which I like by a guy called Gina Whitman called the Entrepreneur Operating System, which a lot people talk about now. And they have a very sort of standard set set of meetings with very standard sets of things that you bring to it. And one of the things that I found most useful out, that is. They actively encourage the meeting participants to sort of shout at each other during the meeting. Off topic, meaning, you know, if you’ve met to talk about a BNC, if someone starts in one day, you know, it’s allowed and encouraged for people to say, no, this is we’re not discussing that here. That can be sorted out elsewhere or something else can happen about it. But because in most meetings that are more ad hoc, there is no it will be considered very rude for someone to sit there. Just totally got no off topic. Can’t do it. Whereas it’s I think having that sort of veto will we’ll get out of jail free kind of button really, really helps this sort of stuff megalo.

Yeah, I agree on that. I think it’s crucial to go on analytical approach on RSA as any company build systems. So if you can sit on the rice, the way meetings are held up, put some rules there that will definitely be useful and it will also be part of the culture of the company.

And if people if you have, you know, a framework that people can stick to it, they don’t need to think as much.

So it would take them less time to prepare the meeting properly and everyone will know what to expect. But.

Yeah, I like it, this is more probably on on consumer businesses to get feedback all the time. So from the analytics on sales, marketing, on what our customers say and this that so. So that’s now the real cold, hard truth on all the rest of planning and this and that.

Yeah. You should be productive. Measure productivity as well.

Based on that, the power output per hour so that our impact on on on on sales and customer satisfaction, this and that. So then meetings should be based on how to improve the metrics, your rate of bod, but then don’t get hung up too much. I’m talking more now about I think our more mature company knows how to handle meetings unless they get too big when then it’s a problem, but it’s not as big as some of us are. Next essential thread as it is for our Start-Up. If they’re having way too many meetings and not making progress towards what they need to do, they do really need to focus on getting things done and receiving feedback from their market, from the customers and iterate quickly. So, yeah. In short. Yeah. Until you just do the cover market then. Yeah. Just do you really need to focus on productivity versus some planning.

Yeah, I agree. I think the creeping bureaucracy problem of largest successful businesses, i.e. something which could dent the success of an already successful business, is a different class a problem than, as you say, you know, the meetings and coordinations and getting to the truth, which you need when you are trying to find a market or you’re trying to get to profit area, trying to think what I’ve seen entrepreneurs from corporates coming to start companies and they do plan a lot, which is not bad.

I mean, it’s always good to have structure, but I don’t know. I’m not like that.

Yes, I can care.

Share This