Meetings, Cell Phones and Managers…
They go together like bacon and eggs… Laurel and Hardy… Smith & Wesson… Dumb and Dumber…
It’s true. As we live and breathe, managers go to meetings. Some incessantly; so often that meeting attendance begins to feel like an end itself — that their actual job is to attend meetings.
And cell phones. Are we really so important that we cannot go an hour — one single, lonely hour — without checking emails, texting, or my favorite, “Excuse me, I’ve got to take this…” cell call?? Can we not make an entire meeting without casting those sometimes-furtive glances toward that 2-inch screen??
In a word, no.
The short answer is probably NO ONE will die without their phone for an hour (contrary to what some likely feel). I do, however, feel this issue brings a murky problem into specific relief…
It’s about value, not time or even cell phones/blackberry’s.
So many meetings are mundane, repetitive and unnecessary, that participants feel their attendance is either unwarranted or merely perfunctory. Hence the texting, blackberry emails, and “excuse me, this is important” cell calls.
In other words, in my view, cell phones, et al, during meetings are symptomatic, not causal.
Reduce the number of meetings by 2/3, drive them with action, require attendance only from action-substantive people, and THEN make ’em turn off the damn phones.
But that’s just me…