Starting on Time

I have been envolved in a process change role out over the past 2 weeks. One of the main observations though wasn’t what was intended. Start the meeting on time.

These have been large meetings of over 100 people. I have been in two where a 1.5 hour meeting started over 30 minutes late.

This is equivalent in cost to 100*2*$80*1/2 equaling $8,000. Thanks Greg for teaching me this observation tool ages ago. Sure this is small dollars but if this is systemic it will add up quickly.

What if we also added the soft costs…
– lost understanding due to rushing
– respect of others
– lost opportunity of doing other items.

Just some thoughts as I wait yet again.

  1. Graham Boundy Reply

    One of the keys to showing up on time for a meeting is allowing time to transition between meetings or proceeding activities. That means if a meeting starts on the hour then the preceeding activity should finish 10 or so minutes prior to the hour so that there is time to get that coffee, visit the restroom, pick up papers at your desk, and generally re-focus for the upcoming meeting.
    That begs the questions, should we also be considering ending meetings on time. Respecting people’s time at the end of the meeting as well. Get everybody out early who needs to be somewhere else at the top of the hour.
    And that jogs us into thinking about meeting management, time management and keeping things moving in the meeting to address all the agenda items in the time alotted.

  2. Jim Reply

    I think that not starting a meeting on time is very disrespectful of the people who showed up on time.
    I also think that if you routinely do not start your meetings on time people will learn that and show up late. I can tell you it is very frustrating for the people who show up on time.
    I also think you start the meeting with something that gives the people who are ontime a bonus or benefit over the people who are late.
    One of the few things we cannot recover is time.
    “The moving finger writes and having writ moves on. All our piety and wit cannot lure it back to cnacel half a line.” I think that is from the Rubiat by Omar Kyam.
    The moments are key. Use them wisely.

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