I was enjoying lunch at a technology conference with a group of CTOs from high-powered companies when the conversation turned from blockchain to meetings.
It’s funny how that always happens.
First, we heard about the awful meetings held at a large manufacturing company. Then, it was the CTO for an NFL team's turn.
“My team meetings are terrible!” he exclaimed. “My problem is my co-manager. If it were up to me, we’d have an agenda for every meeting and a report afterwards. I’m an orderly type of guy. Like, you should see my sock drawer. It’s amazing! But my partner thinks that’s all too formal and stuffy, so whenever I bring an agenda he just ignores it. Then of course the meetings always go long, we never get through what we wanted to talk about, and we just end up having more meetings to hash it out again. I guess I should put my foot down and start forcing him to use an agenda.”
There are easily five things you could pick out of that statement as problems worth addressing, but the big one is the conflicting beliefs between the managers. One wants to “follow rules," the other sees rules as needless constraints.
“Have you heard of a real-time agenda? Or Lean Coffee?” I asked. He hadn’t, so I explained the concept.