The 90-minute meeting limit

90Yesterday I had a Twitter conversation with my boss and some colleagues based on one aspect of this article – John Mackey’s 90 minute limit for meetings.

I’m all for it! But it doesn’t fit with the prevailing approach towards meetings in our organisation.

So, I think we need some rules of engagement to make sure that this change is meaningful and sustainable. So ever the next few days I’ll be posting some thoughts about what should happen before, during and after meetings to make the 90 minute limit viable.

The first point to note is that 90 minutes is the maximum not a target. Meeting should not drift to fill the space allocated, and maybe an indicator of success will be setting an appropriate time for each meeting (using 15 minute increments) and ensuring that we finish within that time slot. Adapting our approach to meetings won’t happen overnight. We will need practice and some patience. Most of all, we will all need to take responsibility for making the 90 minute meeting limit a reality and for improving the effectiveness of our meetings in the process and liberating time for other activities as a result.

We can only can function at an optimum level for about 90 minutes. In other words we can do intense work for about 90 minutes and then we need to do something else.

(I’m reminded of Al Pittampalli’s Modern Meeting Standard – which I must revisit.)

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