I am in the midst of reading a great book on Apple called Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall. Here I share with you a great tip to improve the effectiveness of your meetings.
The small group ethos drives simplicity. It’s key to Apple’s ongoing success and key to any organisation that wants to nurture quality thinking. The idea is pretty basic: Everyone in the room should be there for a reason. There’s no such thing as a “for information invitation.” Either you’re critical to the meeting or you’re not.
Steve Jobs actively resisted any behaviour which drew comparisons with the way big companies think–even though Apple had been a big company for many years. He knew that small groups composed of the cleverest and most creative people had driven Apple to its amazing success, and he had no intention of ever changing that. When he called a meeting, his expectation was that everyone in the room would be an essential participant. There were no spectators.
Meetings are a necessary and important way to make joint progress. But we all know that too many unnecessary meetings can drain even the most brilliant members of a team of their creative energy.
Many businesses follow a misguided belief – the more important the project, the more people must be involved. The theory is that more brains equal more ideas and rapid progress. That’s hard to argue with- except that only occasionally do more brains mean better ideas.
The more people involved in the effort, the more complicated briefings become, the more hand-holding is required to get people up to speed, and the more time must be spent reviewing participants’ work and opinions. A smaller group offers the most efficient way to succeed-assuming that it also has the right mix of people. When populated by the cleverest people, small groups will give management more confidence, not less.