Ah, meetings. The necessary evil of the business world. We need them to inform, collaborate, brainstorm, inspire, get approval, give approval, persuade, showboat, compromise, argue, negotiate, brown nose, and sometimes, entertain. The unfortunate fact is that we fall in love with them. We think we are accomplishing something by sitting around a table talking. For a few professions, this is true.
For the rest of us, we need meetings to help guide us, or perhaps, guide others. That’s it. Get what you need, give your input, and get out. If you’re not a CEO, you likely have more important things to be doing than sitting in a meeting – your time is better spent elsewhere.
FastCompany had a great article on meetings, and what Steve Jobs had to say on them. Essentially, you want to keep meetings short (under 30 minutes), to the point, and only include people who are absolutely necessary to the meeting (no “bystanders”).
While Steve Jobs was a bit ruthless in his application, the idea still remains: keep it simple.