Category: Business

The 22 Minute Meeting

Scott sent this to me a few days ago and I finally got a chance to watch it tonight.  I did enjoy it and am guilty of taking my laptop and phone everywhere I go because most meetings aren’t productive so I disagree with those two rules.  Nicole Steinbeck says: “Meetings can be a huge productivity & time suck. So what if you took out all of the stupid, wasteful stuff and left only the useful parts?”  Below is a summary of her talk by Scott Berkun (but as he reminds us, all credit goes to Nicole).

  1. Schedule a 22 minute meeting – Who decided meetings should be 30 or 60 minutes? What data is this based on? None. 30 and 60 minute meetings leave no time to get between meetings, and assumes, on average, people need an hour to sort things out. Certainly not all meetings can be run in 22 minutes, but many can, so we’d all be better off if the default time were small, not large.
  2. Have a goal based agenda – Having an agenda at all would be a plus in most meetings. Writing it on the whiteboard, earns double pluses, since then everyone has a constant reminder of what the meeting is supposed to achieve.
  3. Send required readings 3 days beforehand – The burden is on the organizer to make this small enough that people actually do it. Never ever allow a meeting to be “lets all read the documents together and penalize anyone diligent enough to do their homework”. (note: I think 24 hours is plenty).
  4. Start on time – How often does this happen? Almost never. Part of the problem is Outlook and all schedule programs don’t have space between meetings. By 2pm there is a day’s worth of meeting time debt. 22 minutes ensures plenty of travel/buffer time between meetings.
  5. Stand up – Reminds everyone the goal isn’t to elaborate or be supplemental (See Scrum standing meetings). Make your point, make your requests, or keep quiet. If there is a disagreement, say so, but handle resolving it outside of the meeting.
  6. No laptops, but presenters and note takes. If you’re promised 22 minutes, and it’s all good stuff, you don’t need a secondary thing to be doing while you pretend to be listening. One person taking notes, and one person presenting if necessary.
  7. No phones, no exceptions – see above.
  8. Focus! Note off topic comments. If you have an agenda, someone has to police it and this burden is on whoever called the meeting. Tangents are ok, provided they are short. The meeting organizer has to table tangents and arguments that go too far from the agenda.
  9. Send notes ASAP – With 22 minutes, there should be time, post meeting, for the organizer to send out notes and action items before the next meeting begins.

>> Download Nicole’s 22 Minute Meeting Poster

Notes From BJ Fogg’s Presentation

Last week I was at a Communications Media Managers Association (CMMA) event in Plano, TX (not too far from Dallas, TX). The keynote speaker for the event was BJ Fogg a Stanford University professor who talked about “Hot Triggers & Rituals The New World of Persuasion.” There were some technical difficulties which delayed his presentation which I know rushed him and didn’t allow him to get through all of the content he wanted to present.

The best example I think he gave was of Oil of Olay which required him to do morning and nightly treatments to help “fight wrinkles”. He was noticing he wasn’t remembering to apply the treatment consistently, he would either apply in the morning or at night but often forgot to do both each day. He then told himself “I need a trigger to remind me to do it twice each day.” Like most Americans, he brushes he teeth twice a day, once in the morning, and once at night. Therefore to help remind him to apply the treatments he put the treatments in the sink where he normally brushes his teeth. That way he had to physically look at and remove the product from the sink before he could do anything else (it was a trigger/reminder).

His theory is essentially people need a reminder (a trigger) to do things and there are a number of circumstances which can either promote or prevent a task from being done. You can see his research at Below are my notes from the meeting:

  • Started by talking about how it is best when you can automate persuasion.
  • Types of Behavior changes:
    • One time
    • Fixed period
    • From now on
  • Core motivators
    • Pleasure/Pain
    • Hope/Fear
    • Social Rejection/Social Acceptance
  • Simplicity has 6 elements
    • Time
    • Money
    • Physical effort
    • Brain cycles
    • Social deviance
    • Non routine
      • Each person has difference resources. These vary by context.
      • Simplicity is a function of your scariest resource at that moment.
  • Motivation, ability, and trigger must be present at the same time otherwise if one is missing, the behavior will not occur
  • You can increase a person’s ability by simplifying, not by training
    • Put “hot triggers” in the path of motivated people (hot triggers are when users can take immediate action on something that reminds them to do something)
      • New triggers if successful lead to new rituals which leads to new platforms (Facebook…Farmville etc)

Why Best Buy Works

  • Best Buy got rid of “time and place” for workers.
  • They no longer dictate work hours or workplace…where you have to work.
  • They create outcome based goals for what each employee must achieve. It unleashed a whole new envelope of innovation of morale with those workers which allowed them to drive high level performance we’ve seen with Best Buy.
  • Customizing workplace to meet employee needs. Provide flexibility to employees on flexibility and freedom while holing employees accountable for goals and objectives.