No More Bad Meetings

Anthony Coppedge
2 min readOct 4, 2023

Stuck in meeting overload hell? Extricate yourself and your teams by learning to eliminate bad meetings with these helpful ideas.

Meetings aren’t bad. Low-value meetings are bad.

Free your people to spend their hours making an impact as often as is possible by reducing meetings. Those 1-hour meetings with 9 people? That’s a 9-hour meeting for the organization.

Two main reasons for a recurring meeting to happen with a large number of people:

1) Making a decision with those able to provide valuable insight and make decisions.
2) Solving a problem with those able to leverage data and insights to identify, address, and provide actionable next steps or solutions.

Beyond that, recurring meetings are likely only some version of a status update, which is the worst possible way to update status (tools/processes should make this possible without a meeting).

At IBM, I’ve been able to measure an average of 30% reduction in recurring meetings for the teams and team members in my Span of Care when I eliminated pure status update meetings. Oh, and by the way: these teams have demonstrably measured higher quality and greater consistency in delivering value since we implemented this change.

One last thing: Meetings aren’t bad. Low-value meetings are bad. We’ve seen an increase in both asynchronous communication and ad hoc, small (1 on 1 or less than 4 people) meetings that only include those needed to help drive to an action. But they’re often 5–15 minute quick meetings, so the cost to the organization is low while the value is high.

Free your people up so that your organization doesn’t keep paying thousands of dollars for a meeting that could have been an email.

#MeetingOverload #FreeYourMind #ProductivityTips

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Anthony Coppedge

I lead the vision for how business agility is infused in Digital Sales at IBM. I relish the chance to sabotage mediocrity.