“Every Organization Has Too Many Meetings”

HastieReidMeetings2009-05-15.jpg“Reid Hastie, a professor at the University of Chicago, contends that “every organization has too many meetings, and far too many poorly designed ones.” ” Source of photo and caption: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

The author of the following wise words is a Professor of Behavioral Science at the School of Business at the University of Chicago. One of the main points of the commentary, in the language of economics, is that meeting planners often fail to consider the opportunity cost of attendees’ time:

(p. 2) As a general rule, meetings make individuals perform below their capacity and skill levels.

This doesn’t mean we should always avoid face-to-face meetings — but it is certain that every organization has too many meetings, and far too many poorly designed ones.
The main reason we don’t make meetings more productive is that we don’t value our time properly. The people who call meetings and those who attend them are not thinking about time as their most valuable resource.
. . .
Probably most important, we are blind to lost time opportunities. When we choose where to invest our time, as opposed to where to invest money, we are more likely to neglect what else we could have done with it.

For the full commentary, see:
REID HASTIE. “Preoccupations – Meetings Are a Matter of Precious Time.” The New York Times, SundayBusiness Section (Sun., January 18, 2009): 2.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *