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Three men in a meeting

How to finally kill the useless, recurring meeting

Ryan Fuller

March 17, 2015

We’ve all been part of a bloated weekly meeting. You know the one, with 20-plus attendees that’s been happening every week for years; where everyone attends because they’re supposed to, but no one gets much value out of it; where everyone multitasks or wishes they were somewhere else (or both). The sheer amount of time invested in these low-value interactions is a high-cost impediment to getting things done. So how do you fix it?

Not with a sweeping gesture or an edict from a CEO. That’s because meetings tend to be reinforced by norms and network effects – if one person attempts to fix it by, say, declaring that they will no longer attend meetings on Wednesdays, the overall system tends to reject the change. In other words, their colleagues will just continue to schedule meetings on Wednesdays.

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Portrait of Ryan Fuller

Ryan Fuller

Ryan Fuller was the CEO and co-founder of VoloMetrix, a leading people analytics company acquired by Microsoft in 2015. Within Microsoft, Ryan leads a business unit focused on making organizational analytics capabilities broadly available. Previously he was a management consultant at Bain & Company.