10 Aug 2016

Scheduling and Arranging Meetings

It is now common for organisations to utilise electronic communications, electronic mail, voice-mail, time scheduling systems etc.

These facilities can provide vast amounts of information and possibilities, accessible to all in real-time. They are tools for business and we must take care to avoid becoming immersed in this technology and avoid losing sight of the value of face-to-face communication.

A meeting has the potential to be one of the biggest thieves of corporate time.

We all have a personal responsibility to show common courtesy when scheduling and arranging meetings with colleagues. The overall value will be determined by the quality of thought and preparation invested beforehand:

  • What is the purpose of the meeting – concretely?
  • What is the agenda and therefore, who must attend?
  • What formal preparation will be required from each participant?
  • What other information will be required?
  • What should be the timing of the meeting – tactically?

A time-schedule system has the potential to be a guardian of corporate time by allowing us to view time concretely as a commodity.

On one condition – that everyone follows the same disciplines:

  • All have personal responsibility to keep their schedule up-to-date
  • All to have ‘read access’ to your schedule
  • Plan ahead when inviting people to a meeting – seek their confirmation
  • Schedule recurring meetings over the year – now

And finally… be prepared to say “No” to meetings that appear unnecessary – think carefully about why you should attend all meetings.

The ability to access other people’s diaries throughout the organisation is simply access to more information, not an ability to control their time.

Scheduling a meeting on an electronic time manager is a form of written communication to the rest of the organisation and requires the same disciplines. 

Take special care to be courteous and respectful of the time of your colleagues.

“Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.”

Schopenhauer (1851)