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Creating a "No Meetings" Policy

Orange Leaders
Orange Leaders Monday September 10, 2012
<? echo $type; ?> Creating a "No Meetings" Policy

by Brad Lomenick

I have to be honest—I despise most meetings. Now don’t get me wrong, some meetings are important and needed. I love brainstorming and creative meetings when there is lots of energy and ideas being thrown out. I like meetings where ideas are being moved to completion. I like meetings where we are solving problems and coming up with solutions. But meeting for meetings sake is unproductive, demoralizing and a waste of time. Too many organizations and churches build their “get it done” culture around “let’s meet about it.” A meeting becomes the default for everything.

Here are a few thoughts on meetings:

1. Always try your best NOT to meet versus always looking for an excuse TO meet.

2. If you can solve an issue or figure out a solution or agree through email or a quick 30-second, in-person conversation or phone call, don’t schedule a meeting.

3. Most meetings ultimately should instead be quick stand up conversations for no more than five minutes. Get to the point, and move on.

4. Many “managers” plan meetings so they’ll actually have something to do and can justify their existence. This is not great management.

5. You DO need to meet on a regular basis with your team or staff and connect, cast vision, laugh, etc. More for creating culture than anything else.

6. Instead of a culture that defaults to “let’s meet about it,” build a culture that thinks “let’s go make it happen.” When in doubt, don’t meet. Just go make it happen. Execute. Take the project to the finish line. “Ship it” as Seth Godin says.

7. Leaders – If at all possible, don’t schedule a meeting, unless it is really needed and leads to action. And if a meeting is required, LESS participants (as a general rule) is better and more strategic than MORE participants. More than five people in a meeting trying to get something done bogs down the process.

8. Always ask following a meeting: “Did we accomplish anything? Or just create more work and more bureaucracy?” Consistently measure the value of each meeting, and get rid of it if you’re not accomplishing anything.

In a nutshell, Brad is an Oklahoma boy now residing in the South. He is a passionate follower of Christ, and has the privilege of leading and directing a movement of young leaders called Catalyst. Catalyst sees their role as equipping, inspiring, and releasing the next generation of young Christian leaders, and they do this through events, resources, consulting, content and connecting a community of like-minded Catalysts all over the world. Brad appreciates the chance to continually connect with and collaborate alongside leaders.

At Orange Leaders, we influence those who influence the next generation. We do that by creating resources and products that help leaders like you do ministry better.