How Not to Waste My Time in Your Meeting
If there is no drama in a meeting it has no purpose for being.
Marc Cenedella is the CEO and founder of TheLadders.com, the world's largest professional jobs website. Cenedella started TheLadders.com in July of 2003 to solve a puzzling gap in the world of online recruitment and high-end employment. As the Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations at HotJobs.com, he saw that, while large job boards worked well for entry and mid-level candidates, high-level job searches were not being conducted efficiently online. Job seekers were frustrated, while recruiters often elected not to post their executive opportunities online at all. Cenedella's solution to this dilemma was a reverse business model that catered to the high-end job seeker.
Cenedella holds an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar. He earned his B.A. in political science at Yale.
Unproductive meetings are absolutely the norm out there, so the important thing is why are we meeting, do we need to be meeting, is there some other format that would help us achieve what we’re trying to achieve here?
For me it has always been about checking in at the end of the meeting every couple months: "Hey, is this time useful for everybody? We just spent an hour and a half talking about X, is that a good use of your time?" If everybody in the room says "no," well then you know that you probably have a meeting that is probably not that useful. If everybody says "yes" then you know that maybe you are doing something that is useful for the company.
The most important thing in meetings is to make a decision. If we’re going to have all these people together in a room we ought to be making some concrete positive progress for the company rather than everybody just sitting around saying their opinion or wondering which way we’re going to go or ending up with differing opinions.
I love to run a meeting with a topic. I just love to run a debate, a nice democratic debate: "Hey great, Sally thinks this, who agrees? Bob, you agree that’s fantastic. Dave how about you? Dave you disagree, well Sally what do you think about Dave disagreeing with you?"
Generating that conflict is important in meetings. If there is no drama in a meeting it has no purpose for being because if all we’re doing is sitting there and listening to a list of facts or hearing everybody recite what their thoughts are, that is not useful to us or to the company to actually achieve anything.
A great meeting has drama because there is something at stake because something is important and it’s being decided here right now.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
The famed author headed to the pond thanks to Indian philosophy.
- The famed author was heavily influenced by Indian literature, informing his decision to self-exile on Walden Pond.
- He was introduced to these texts by his good friend's father, William Emerson.
- Yoga philosophy was in America a century before any physical practices were introduced.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
A little goes a long way.
- A recent study from the Department of Health and Human Services found that 80 percent of Americans don't exercise enough.
- Small breaks from work add up, causing experts to recommend short doses of movement rather than waiting to do longer workouts.
- Rethinking what exercise is can help you frame how you move throughout your day.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.