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12 Feb

How Google keep their meetings efficient

Datum: 2010-02-12 09:21

Most of us spend much of our days in meet­ings. At the risk of gen­er­al­iz­ing, I dare say that we all have expe­ri­enced meet­ings that we wish we had not attend­ed and that turned out not quite what we had expect­ed. There may be meet­ings where do not come to any deci­sion, meet­ings that get pro­longed, meet­ings that start late, meet­ings that are com­plete­ly chaot­ic, etc.

When you want to refine the way you do some­thing, it is a good idea to ask the pros, those that appar­ent­ly man­age to devel­op their busi­ness­es from suc­cess to suc­cess, most­ly by hav­ing meet­ings. A while ago, Busi­ness­Week pub­lished an inter­view with Maris­sa May­er, Google’s Vice Pres­i­dent of search prod­ucts, where she shared her top six tips to keep her meet­ings efficient.

Marissa’s meetings 

The six tips are:

  1. Set a firm agenda.
  2. Assign a note-taker.
  3. Carve out micro-meet­ings. (510 min) from a larg­er block of time 
  4. Hold office hours.
  5. Dis­cour­age pol­i­tics, use data.
  6. Stick to the clock.

Yes, that is it. They weren’t rev­o­lu­tion­ary ideas, were they, that would be impos­si­ble to imple­ment in our organisation?

Worth highlighting 

How­ev­er, I would like to high­light two of the tips, name­ly No. 3 and No. 4, on micro-meet­ings and on office hours.

I think we could gain even more time, if we cre­at­ed for­mats for very short meet­ings, instead of rou­tine­ly reserve an hour (or more) for each meet­ing that we sum­mon. At least I would.

If I think of the time when I had sub­or­di­nates (before I became a struk­tör), I would have had much ben­e­fit from hold­ing office hours reg­u­lar­ly, say, one hour each day when I would be avail­able and will­ing to have short drop-in ses­sions with col­leagues. If we real­ly respect that hour and make sure we are avail­able when we say we will be, we will be less inter­rupt­ed by col­leagues at oth­er times, because they know when they can reach us (and when we are most inclined to help).

What do you think?

Please leave a com­ment below.

Read the com­plete Busi­ness­Week fea­ture