Have you ever been in a meeting where you spend an eternity discussing something relatively trivial, and then microseconds on something significant? If the answer is yes, the chances are you’ve been Bikeshedding… Bikeshedding is the common name for Parkinson’s Law of Triviality: … ‘the amount of time a committee will spend discussing an item […]
The Atomic Theory of Meetings. Atoms and Meetings are made of mostly NOTHING.
Atoms and meetings are surprisingly similar. Just like in science, where atoms are the basic building blocks, for organisations meetings seem to fulfill a similar purpose. Organisations wouldn’t exist without them (apparently). Unfortunately many meetings aren’t as remotely useful (or interesting) as atoms, but there are startling similarities. Let me explain. Basically there are 3 […]
Choice Architecture; how to avoid being a ‘Meeting Lemming’
This post follows the one I wrote about meetings being a virus that use human hosts to reproduce. Paul Taylor rightly questioned; ‘we know meetings are a problem, but why are we unable to do anything about them?’. Ultimately there’s something strange going on with meeting attendance; people cannot, or do not want to, change their […]
Meetings are a Viral Lifeform. How to Avoid Infection and Practice Sabotage
Meetings are a type of Virus that use humans as hosts to replicate….. That might strike you as an odd statement; but have a look at the Dilbert cartoon and think about how you would answer these questions: Have you ever gone to a meeting where you have no idea why you are there? At […]
Make Meetings Count – Literally, with Meeting Ticker and Clockwork Meetings.
Ask the internet and often it delivers more than you expected. Today was one of those days. About two weeks ago I ended up in a Twitter discussion with Shirley Ayres and Paul Taylor about how much time gets wasted in meetings. It started with a post about are meetings are the symptom of bad […]
Better Understanding – the benefit of meetings. Remember the first time?
Does anyone remember the first meeting they called? I can, it was quite an anxious experience. Suddenly I had POWER! Power to take people away from doing something useful and have them sit around a table with me for a few hours. Outside of the work that kind of power would be considered a big […]
Meetings are the symptom of bad organisation. Yes, but no, but maybe?
For anyone who works in a large organisation this will resonate. You can back it up with comments you might have heard over the years, like; “meetings suck the life-force out of me”, “that’s two hours of my life I will never get back” and “that was a big waste tax payers / shareholders money”. Top […]
Bikeshedding: Organisations spend too much time on trivial decisions. Parkinson’s Law of Triviality.
Decision making has always been a challenge . Way back in 1957, to describe his ‘Law of Triviality’, Cyril Northcote Parkinson created the word bikeshedding. Parkinson was hugely experienced in the workings of Government and Academia. He was also responsible for a number of other ‘rules’ you might be familiar with like: Parkinsons Law No.1 ‘work expands to […]
Meetings Sabotage, Additional Field Examples
Lately I’ve been spending time in committee meetings. We love our committee meetings here in Wales, although if you’d like an alternative view, here’s Seth’s Blog on “If committees told the truth”. The one thing committees are great for is spotting sabotage and the meeting saboteurs at work. I thought it would be helpful to […]
Herding cats….. the definition of an Unconference?
I sometimes wonder if I’ve been unknowingly attending unconferences for very many years, and just not recognising it. Are they just another version of meetings / workshops / seminars and conferences, that just happen to be ‘organisation free’? I also wonder if their current rise in popularity might be due to a bit of reinvention […]