Every week, I am forced to attend between 6 and 30 meetings. Yes, 30. So far, that's my record (OK, actually it was only 29, but...). What do these meetings accomplish? Occasionally, a great deal. Sometimes we hammer out our corporate position on important issues. Sometimes we refine language for a contract. Sometimes we settle disputes. Those are the good ones.
More often, we sit around, discussing for an hour things that could be resolved in 15 minutes. But we've set aside an hour! Thus, we must discuss for an hour.
Admittedly, I work in a cube farm, and I know people need to get out of their boxes and into a room where the walls reach the ceiling. I sympathize. I can even tolerate the meetings that are actually productive. What really, really bugs me, though, is when someone regularly schedules meetings for one of two bogus purposes. First, because he/she is not busy, and has plenty of time to gnaw an issue to the bone. Second, because he/she is hoping that the meeting will accomplish the work he/she was assigned to do.
It must stop. Take a stand, people! Decline those meeting requests! Delete emails suggesting that "we should get a team together to discuss." Fight back! Otherwise ... we all lose.
(Thanks to despair.com for the awesome Demotivational poster.)