Personal effectiveness coach Carol McLachlan proposes two principles that every meeting should adhere to in order to help bring quality to such office gatherings.
What is it about meetings? They depress us with endless time-wasting irrelevance; they shred every illusion of Intelligent Life in Offices. But why do we hate them? I wish I could put my finger on it.
But if meetings were banned, there would quite properly be uproar: restrictions on the exchange of ideas, lack of workplace consultation, and so on. I see no alternative to meetings, far from it.
What I do see is a mismatch between the functions meetings can and should fulfil, and the ill-considered forms that stifle them. This would have been fully understood by Robert Pirsig who, in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, held that we generally obsess with form and neglect function. Instead, we should aim to balance the two to achieve what he calls 'Quality'.