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Bad Meeting

Last week a staff member in human resources asked to meet “just to check in.” My calendar was booked and I was stressed due to the budget presentation. But, I thought, “how nice to just check in with me to see how it’s going. It’s true I’ve been under some strain, and it’s really sweet to make sure all’s going well…” So I scheduled the 30-minute “coffee break” and showed up on time. What a fool! It’s like I got trapped at an Amway presentation. The staff member had a list of questions regarding database projects and priorities and the … Continue Reading

Need More Cowbell: applying 80’s technology to 60’s work processes

Technology has allowed us to communicate more quickly. It hasn’t improved the content of our communications nor has it changed the somewhat linear nature of our communication in the workplace. That is, we don’t present budget proposals as multimedia sensory experiences nor do we incorporate other experiences into everyday meetings, though we could. Instead, we essentially work the same way our parents did, just with more speed and intrusion. So it’s more stressful. Isn’t that nice? I want to begin my next staff meeting in a dark room. Then I want to hear some bass, with maybe a flicker … Continue Reading

Days Without Meetings

I was planning to write about the future challenges facing already challenged liberal arts colleges. Essentially, the number of kids graduating from high school in America is declining which will reduce the potential market, forcing more competition. It’s gonna be a rumble!

But I got sidetracked because I’ve had to consult with my assistant many times today over scheduling more of my dreaded advisory board meetings. Scheduling three faculty, one student, and three VPs is like solving one of those really tricky traffic puzzles devised by the NSA to elicit your pattern recognition abilities. You … Continue Reading

Meetings are the Key to Life

Someone has a great idea and shares it with someone. They both like it and schedule a meeting to discuss it. The idea progresses, creating many more meetings: planning, defending, scheduling, implementing, resourcing, recap, troubleshooting, retreats, etc. At the end of the day, many people have been paid for many hours spent in meetings. And what didn’t happen because staff were dealing with this great idea? What other great idea didn’t see the light of day? Who quit because they were burned out, overloaded, etc?

Great ideas, new ideas, projects, plans, emergencies, strategies, etc. all require meetings, at least in higher … Continue Reading