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Stop Calling Every Conversation a “Meeting”

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

I just got back from speaking at a 500 attendee event on the West Coast. The company referred to it as its annual meeting. Today, I have a discussion scheduled with two people from a small tech startup about collaborating on a project. They’re calling that a meeting too. Strange, because the only thing these two “meetings” have in common is that moniker.

Quibbling over semantics may seem silly, but it’s not. Organizations are drowning in unproductive meetings, and part of the problem is the fact that we refer to them all in the same way. Vague and imprecise language obscures the true purpose of these gatherings, making it difficult to know how to optimize for their success. It also makes it harder to distinguish the worthwhile ones from the worthless.

In order to have fewer, more purposeful meetings, we need a more robust vocabulary to describe them. So let’s do some renaming, starting with three common “meetings” that you’ll soon realize aren’t really meetings at all.

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