Ask most executives what they think of their regular management meetings, and they will often tell you that they regard these meetings as a waste of time. Considering the cost of leadership team meetings, we should demand that the organization realize significantly more value. Business intelligence software vendors, with their decision support tools and desktop dashboards, are now tempting executives to do away with such meetings altogether. After all, if you have the data and information at your fingertips, why bother convening costly meetings at all? While this is a fair question to ask, it's hardly realistic to imagine people working together without ever conducting meetings. Suffice to say that the management meeting is here to stay. The question is: how can it be improved?
We should start by understanding what is actually happening - or not happening - in management meetings that leads to the level of discontent associated with them. A study revealed that 85 percent of management teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy.1 In short, most management meetings are failing to maximize the value of executives' time because they focus on operational matters and not on strategic issues that, by definition, require cross-functional collaboration.
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