Meetings are often thought of as the “necessary evil” of corporate American culture, but how truly necessary they are is increasingly coming into question. Should executives find themselves in multiple meetings a day? In an article for The New York Times Magazine, Virginia Heffernan explores alternatives to traditional meetings, as well as how to understand different personality types and how they function in mundane meetings.
Reconsidering the Meeting
There are two different types of people, according to startup Spring’s CTO Octavian Costache: the managers and the makers. The managers are those individuals who thrive in a structured environment, where every minute is scheduled. Makers, on the other hand, are those who have a more imaginative personality and need a less structured environment so they can be free to create. Makers do not do well in the soul-crushing environment of meetings.
Despite the generation of rebels, not all believe that the structured life of meetings will be replaced with free-spirited, creative sessions. With the Holacratic system, created by Brian Robertson, there are still meetings, but they are dependent on “Circles.” These Circles are small collections of people who work closely together. Every week, biweekly, or whatever works best for the individual circles, there is a meeting to discuss progress. These smaller groups allow for more people to voice their ideas or concerns because it operates more like an open forum. From outside of the group, the meeting sounds like chaotic monkeys, but on the inside real work is being accomplished.
In recent years, Stewart Butterfield, a founder and the CEO of Slack, has introduced yet another type of meeting reformation. At Slack, they have conversations with one another that are more like a group text, which anyone can join in at any time. The team can be anywhere and still have meaningful conversations. This type of digital communication has inspired Under Armour to conduct their meetings in the same fashion. Slack is not simply getting rid of meetings; rather, they are encouraging a new, more efficient way to get ideas across.
Meetings do not have to be traditional. They can and should work for your company. You can read the original article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/meet-is-murder.html