Archive for January 26, 2012

‘Meeting’ the challenge

January 26, 2012

On the way to a meeting?

I’m not sure if hit US TV show the West Wing quite counts as ‘retro’ yet but either way it certainly was unexpected when it popped into my mind on the way to my fifth meeting of the day.

The scene that sprang to mind was one where the hyperactive Deputy Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman, is scheduled for an early morning meeting with someone from NASA. He goes to meeting under duress from his ever faithful assistant Donna and does his best to get out of there as quick as he can. When confronted about his lack of interest in the meeting he lays a little bit of intellectual smack down on the poor NASA administrator before commenting:

I prepare even for meetings I don’t want to go to. I wasn’t improvising. You guys are lost in space.

If we forget the awful space pun (Aaron Sorkin on an off day me thinks) the rest of his comment really resonates with me.

Ask yourself this question: How many times have you had a busy week and thought to yourself, I’ll just skip reading the papers for that meeting and work it out as I go? I know I’ve done it and I can state with cast iron certainty that nearly every single person I have sat in a meeting with has also done so at one time or another. Indeed, I have heard one manager tell me that she didn’t have time to read the papers for a meeting because she had real work to do.