I ROUTINELY ASK to be invited to meetings if they include an agenda because when they don't, I have to listen to people who want "air" time to pontificate. Lately, I've been trying to push meetings off into collaborative space where action items can be checked off when accomplished remotely.
I've discovered that if more than four people attend a meeting and none of them have direct access to funding, nothing gets decided. If more than seven people attend meetings, at least one of the attendees will try to make a speech. It's very tiring listening to people who hijack the time of others to hear themselves air ideas that often would never get passing notice on a Facebook thread.
A lot of the meetings I've attended during the past seven years assume they need to achieve consensus and that strategy often succeeds in filtering out clever ideas as well as slowing execution of well-regarded plans.
I know I'm not alone in my hatred of time-sucking meetings--literature abounds about the idea across management journals. My antidote to bloated meetings involves advocacy of clever mobile apps that let me share important collaborative tasks. Unfortunately, I often need to pitch the concept of collaboration during a three-minute section of a meeting and I haven't gained much traction for my ideas. So I'm off to see if I can get the endorsement of time-challenged third level students who I teach in different academic modules. I believe I'm getting results in those circles, starting with tick-off lists using OneNote and shared files on OneDrive.