Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Google runs meetings

From Businessweek via 37signals' Signal vs Noise:

I'll pull out the bullet points, but read the article for more fun details. Wish more people ran meetings this way. So simple, yet so rarely done, or done well.

  1. Set a firm agenda: "Agendas need to have flexibility, of course, but Mayer finds that agendas act as tools that force individuals to think about what they want to accomplish in meetings."
  2. Assign a note-taker: "When people are trying to remember what decisions were made, in what direction the team is going, and what actions need to be taken, they can simply review the notes."
  3. Carve out micro-meetings: "Mayer sets aside large blocks of time that she slices into smaller, self-contained gatherings on a particular subject or project."
  4. Hold office hours: "During office hours, Mayer can get through up to 15 meetings, averaging seven minutes per person."
  5. Discourage politics, use data: "She encourages such comments as 'The experimentation on the site shows that his design performed 10% better.'"
  6. Stick to the clock: "It's literally a downloadable timer that runs off a computer and is projected 4 feet tall."