I sat in a meeting last week and after the same topic had been discussed for about 30 minutes without actually going anywhere I lost interest and started doodling in my notebook. Suddenly it occurred to me that a good way to pass the time would be to write my next post about the meeting and how and why it was so boring. So here is a brief summary with a poor attempt at humor thrown in.

  1. Start off with introduction from host – somebody (usually me) picks up on a specific point and goes into detail thereby immediately throwing the meeting off track.
  2. Return to agenda after brief conclusion of introduction and move ahead purposefully.
  3. This is usually the most productive part with almost no snores or vacant looks.
  4. Hit a “brick wall topic” and talk in circles for hours.
  5. This topic is invariably poorly explained and has no measurable argument either for or against.
  6. Discuss the purpose of the meeting and therefore what should and should not be captured (referring of course to the offending topic which is totally irrelevant anyway).
  7. Try to find the words to define both the problem and the solution to the offending topic.
  8. Discuss a completely unrelated example.
  9. Return again to the discussion of the purpose of the meeting (as if it actually mattered – duh!).
  10. Change to native language (in this case German).
  11. Discover (much to the protagonists surprise) that the offending topic is no easier to explain in German than in English.
  12. Eventually… move on at high speed to try to get as much as possible done in the 10 minutes that remain.
  13. At this point the next group to have booked the meeting room are already standing outside impatiently and pointing in.
  14. Run out of time – 5 minutes after the meeting was supposed to be over anyway.
  15. Schedule follow-up meeting…

This post is late for last week. Don’t ask why but lets just say that meetings were involved and leave it at that.

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