Five alternatives to meetings
by Ranjith Kumaran, CEO of Hightail
When I co-founded my startup PunchTab, one of the first things I did was institute a meetings rule. If you added an internal meeting to anyone’s calendar, it cost $1 per minute scheduled. That’s right – at PunchTab you had to pay to hold a meeting, with the fees going to a company fun fund.
It’s a somewhat extreme measure, but I know that many people will understand the problem I was hoping to solve. Meetings are too often unproductive, tedious and a waste of time. Aside from that, I was building a team of self-starters so I didn’t want a culture of justification and delegation to permeate the company. If you had an idea, you went and did it, gathering feedback and other input through informal channels, not official meetings.
Eventually, I ended up being the first one to call a meeting, which I ensured didn’t run long so I wasn’t out of pocket too much (it set me back $20). In our first year at PunchTab, we had a total of three internal meetings – not counting customer engagements and any casual hangouts outside of meeting rooms when people would get together to quickly discuss moving projects forward.
Of course, this was easy for us because we were a small startup of a dozen people working together in one space where ideas and conversations flowed naturally. But exploring alternatives to scheduling meetings can also help larger companies be more effective and productive.
The following five alternatives to meetings could help you cut the amount of time wasted by irrelevant and unfocused meetings and create more effective ways of communicating for everyone at your business.