Not another meeting

I have never much enjoyed internal meetings, whether management, business development, risk management, department, start the week, or whatever. When I was more closely involved in the day-to-day management of my practice they were the bane of my life. It was very refreshing reading Luke Johnson’s take on them in his FT column yesterday,

I am constantly astonished by managers in large organisations who obsessively attend internal meetings. Often these grey affairs have a dozen or more participants, each feeling they must make a contribution to justify their existence. It is my idea of corporate hell. It astonishes me to meet middle-ranking figures who have such bookings stretching not just for months ahead, but perhaps even into next year. What is it that goes on in all these crucial gatherings?

Committees almost by definition are a black hole into which time is sucked. Usually, they are planned months in advance, looming on the horizon on a Monday morning, primed to bore you to death. They are dominated by minutes, agendas, protocol and other matters of ultimate tedium. I rather admire those outfits that hold sessions where everyone has to stand up. It gives the event a real sense of urgency, I suspect. In these straitened times, such a stripped-down attitude feels rather appropriate – along with a genuinely flexible attitude to how you spend your day.

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