If you are a knowledge worker, you likely attend a lot of meetings either in person or on a conference call.
How was your last meeting where you were in the room with the meeting organizer? Ignoring the meeting content, what activities happened in your meeting?
Then, at the meeting, how often did this happen:
Many years ago, I would attend meetings where most participants were in the room. People had to pay attention to what was going on because all they had was the people in the room and no electronics.
Then, as business became more national and global, people started attending meetings via a conference call or some web-based meeting. Electronics started showing up in the form of cell phones and Blackberry’s.
Then business ADD showed up with everyone multi-tasking and, because you really can’t multi-task but only shift your focus from one thing to another, no one got the context of the meetings anymore.
That’s when people started to merely show up for meetings, but not actively engage in them.
There are suggestions, of course, for having better meetings. But I thought I’d have you count how many of the above steps happened at your last meeting. Then rank your meeting in terms of effectiveness.
Then wonder how anything gets decided, much less done.