On improving meetings: Six months ago, our meetings really stunk, and so I read Death by Meeting to improve them. The first thing was that people weren’t showing up on time, which caused meetings to run late. But how do you get eight very busy professionals to always be punctual? You gamify it. I said, “You’re starting this quarter with a $500 bonus and every time you’re late for this meeting, $100 will be subtracted.” Since then, I’ve had one person late once, and the meetings are shorter now too.
The second change was ridiculously simple: We now strictly follow an agenda and someone is in charge of not letting us rabbit hole. For instance, on Thursdays, we always talk about our sales pipeline and there’s a period for any new things that are going on. Everyone has the ability to add something to that agenda, but we stick to it. Third, we started recording our standing meetings, especially on Mondays when we talk about current projects. We treat it as if the project manager is entering updates into the record. This way, if a PM fell ill, we would be able to listen to the last five Monday meetings and hear his updates. This is on top of the Slack channel we have for that project.