How many meetings do you attend at work and what percentage of time does this consume? Yes I hear you my brothers and sisters in arms, as it’s a crazy number isn’t it? Also, when you walk into a packed meeting room and see all those smiling faces there, do you ask yourself why are all these people here? Don’t they have a job or something like that?
As in the days of old, meetings served two purposes, the first being the sharing of information as in those days (which seems like just a few years ago) we didn’t have dashboards, RSS feeds, IM, corporate blogs, Share Point sites and so on. Here (using the RACI model) we would gather at least the top three (Responsible, Accountable and Consultative) parties into one room or call under the guise of information sharing. Yet today, companies which still follow this mode of operation are heading for extinction as not only is this a waste of money (of the people sitting in the room), it also a squandering of “time” in the form of agility which can never be earned back. In this area, Web 2.0 tools have reshaped this objective where for the most part companies having failed to consider these will be heading the way of the dinosaur.
The second reason is for decision making, as here the top two (Responsible and Accountable) may join to form a conclave to create (high value) consensus, around specific topics. While there are tools for addressing low value [decision] items which should be employed to facilitate rote workflow. The higher ones typically are focused upon “ideology” which still carry the “face to face” value as while the “logos” can be transferred my tool, the “pathos” of the commitment is better set in person as more can be said by presents then words.
So with this said, why do we still violate these rules even knowing and understanding this? The reason is while our personal logos (ability to apply logic), matches that of the tools provided by the world around us, the nagging devil in our pathos has not caught up with the outside world. As we are still bound by our old models as social norms cannot keep up with the rapid pace of Moore’s Law and in fact there will come a point in the future where a shearing point between “technology” and that of “society” will be reached as the two will have separated too far to be reconciled.
As it’s said that bureaucracy is the “governor” of business, it’s also clear that social “norms” will be the governor of technology…