Most people dread meetings, yet lots of time in organizations is wasted in meetings every week. The time spend in meetings are directly proportionate to the seniority of the person in the organization; so higher-up you are, more time you are wasting every day. Also those involved in knowledge service industry (creative and professional services) spend more time in meetings over those into manufacturing, distribution or construction etc.
Research says, meetings are actually one of the key ‘de-motivators’ for the ‘best of the workers’ in any organizations. In fact the slackers loves meetings, as it let them reach 5pm faster, without the pressure of ToDo and other responsibilities and having a good reason why they had to move that deadline.
So why do knowledgeable and intelligent people spend more and more time in meetings, my take are the following:
- Lack of automation/integrated apps in the creative and professional services, and meetings are the only way to keep tab on progress and relate to different dependent but separate operational functions.
- Knowledge management, due to lack of systems like social media for internal collaboration, only way to share ideas and experience from top down is to spend time in meeting rooms. Effective online project collaboration can help with this a lot in my opinion.
In fact, just by freeing up the need to meet often, the way of working in knowledge industry can transform substantially. In the near future organizations in creative and professional services will probably move towards the following arrangements more:
- Virtual Organisations, with less and less offices.
- Globally distributed team that comes together for specific projects and disperse after. Without the need for physical meetings and office space, this is becoming a reality.
- Less pressure on cities centres as more and more people would be comfortable working from where they like (a beach house or a relaxing mountain side cabin perhaps) rather than required to be staying where the work is.
- Perhaps drop in migration to developed countries just for work in their chosen sectors, since work can reach them anywhere and probably at much better billing rate with the ‘flatter world order’.
I am looking forward to such a world, aren’t you too?