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DSC_0425_sRecently I had an experience of very productive meeting over lunch and series of not-so productive meetings.   In fact, I  am amazed at the contrast between the two.

One was the meeting with business executives over lunch.  I received a note saying that they had something they want me to do. I had no idea, but was eager to find out what it is.

After we exchanged new year greetings(it was still second week of January), we went right to the topic. They explained their idea and the role they want me to play for their new project (interesting combination of culture and technology).  It was quite a surprise as I never knew that the company (B2B) was into the cultural things. Their offer was a happy surprise as I never expected. And I said I will accept. i.e. decision was made in the first 5-10 minutes.

Then we started having very nice lunch and throughout lunch we talked about some more ideas about the project and the business outlook etc.  It was so exciting, inspiring and fun.  We made best use of time and occasion, as we exchanged many possible ideas etc. from their field of expertise and my recent experiences.   I was so happy after lunch.  I felt I got exposed to new field and was so excited to work for this type of cultural/industrial project. What made me even happier was the way we spent our time-go right to the point, agreed, and explored many different possibilities (though preliminary.)

In sharp contrast with the above, I had series of meetings which seem to take forever without coming to conclusion.  At recent one of this type, I finally asked what we were trying to decide.  Participants went round and round explaining their views and I finally felt that it was total waste of time.  I suspect there are still this type of meetings at many organizations, but once we realize the scarcity of time and significance of using time efficiently, we need to resist temptation of arguing back and forth without constructive solutions.  The former example of lunch discussion indicates that we CAN do it.  As it is still the beginning of the new year, it may be a good idea to make a reform in how we conduct meetings.   Are we ready?

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