Most of my colleagues and many of my client friends know that I regard a face to face business meetings as a tool that should be used sparingly, if at all.
Don't get me wrong, I love meeting face-to-face to discuss ideas, innovations and social matters. It's just that I believe such business meetings are in the main non-productive.
A one hour meeting with four participants is a four hour meeting, no matter which way you look at it. And, if there's travel involved, that part is totally unproductive.
There are much better ways to collaborate in business. Free or low cost online technologies that you don't need to be a techno-wizard to use are freely available, such as Teamviewer, Join Me and Basecamp. We use all three.
Online meetings can be recorded electronically and converted to text minutes, saving someone that onerous task.
Our 2014, New Year's resolution at Brighthouse is to try a cut down face-to face meetings for better time management, providing cost-savings to our clients and better productivity overall. We're happy to talk about our methods with our circle of friends and business associates.
I love Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship. He and his team are building an amazing company in Portland.
If you do anything mobile-related and use push notifications of any sort, or real-time location targeting, you need to be talking to them.
But even more impressive is how Scott leads his company. The other day, I got an email from my partner Jason with a photo of the Urban Airship Meeting Rules posted on the wall.
They are so logical as to be rules that should apply to every meeting at every startup from now until forever.
- Do we really need to meet?
- Schedule a start, not an end to your meeting – its over when its over, even if that’s just 5 minutes.
- Be on time!
- No multi-tasking … no device usage unless necessary for meeting
- If you’re not getting anything out of the meeting, leave
- Meetings are not for information sharing – that should be done before the meeting via email and/or agenda
- Who really needs to be at this meeting?
- Agree to action items, if any, at the conclusion of the meeting
- Don’t feel bad about calling people out on any of the above; it’s the right thing to do.
I particularly love 1, 2, and 5. I rarely walk out of a meeting when I’m not getting anything out of it. I’m going to start paying more attention to this one.
This post originally appeared on Brad Feld’s blog, Feld Thoughts.