Here’s a radical idea. What if meetings weren’t required. What if you never had to go to another meeting? How many of you are mentally jumping for joy just thinking about it? Hmm… seems like there’s a problem if we are constantly doing something we don’t want to do. How much positive comes from being mentally “tortured”?
But we must have required meetings! We need to talk about our projects, what we’re doing and we can’t have people show up only when they feel like it.
Or can we?
Let’s pretend for a moment that meetings aren’t required and today I’ve told you about an upcoming meeting where the Dali Lama will be present, or President Obama, or Lance Armstrong, or whomever you just love. You’d be there in an instant wouldn’t you? I wouldn’t need to require you to be there.
Now what if what we were talking about was whether or not your job was going to be continued, or what your deliverables on a project would be? Likely you’d be there too. You’d simply have too much to lose not being there and as long as you felt your voice was being heard, too much to gain by showing up.
So here’s the idea then. Make your meetings invaluable, make them not to be missed, make people want to show up and get stuff done and you won’t need to require anyone to be there. If you have to require people to be there then your meetings are just not valuable. So why are you spending time doing things that aren’t valuable. Aren’t you worth more than that?
Turns out Seth Godin and I were on the same page when I wrote this. Check out his blog post here about where you get great ideas. If it’s not in a meeting then why are you having meetings? To get stale, boring ideas?