These myths have cost companies billions of dollars in wasted payroll money.
Myth #1) Structure spoils spontaneity.
I once attended a two-day long disaster that easily cost over $40,000. Thirty people spent the first hour seeking an issue to discuss, then spent the next 15 hours arguing over insolvable problems. When I asked the manager who called the meeting, “Where’s the agenda?” the reply was, “I didn’t want to spoil the spontaneity by imposing a structure.”
Reality: If spontaneity were a universally sound business practice we would build buildings without blueprints. Of course, no smart business leader works without a plan.
The Fix: Set a goal and then prepare an agenda. Ideally, this agenda should be so clear, complete, and specific that someone else could use it to lead the meeting to obtain the accomplish the goal.
Myth #2: Since it’s my meeting I should do all the talking.
Some meetings are run like a medieval court. The chairperson sits on a verbal throne while the subjects sit in respectful silence. The big talker justifies this by thinking: if the other people in the meeting knew...