Friday, December 07, 2007

Banning Blackberries in meetings?

Scott Berkun says yes but cautions that when people break out the Blackberries at meetings, it's a symptom rather than a problem:
Any real meeting, where decisions are being made (e.g. not a status meeting) should require people’s full attention. If people are voluntarily comfortable half reading e-mail and half-listening, it’s an indicator to me that:
* There are too many people in the room.
* Few decisions are being made.
* I’m failing to facilitate the discussion to keep it on target.
* The information being conveyed is low priority.
* I’m wasting f2f time with information I could deliver in other ways.
He suggests running meetings that are completely optional -- you don't find it useful, you walk out. Unfortunately, academic meetings require a quorum, so we can't allow on-the-fly opt-outs. But the rest of the post is certainly applicable.
scottberkun.com » Should you ban blackberries at meetings?

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1 comment:

info said...

It's true, sometimes you can't make them optional, but when you can it's worth it: forces the meeting organizer to have their act together.

Also: in cases where there is a decision where 5 specific people need to be in the room, the meeting announcement should say so - as opposed to meetings that have less specific goals (lets discuss X, or listen to Fred talk about Y).

If Bob understand what's going to happen in the meeting, but doesn't feel the need to attend, the other 4 people should be empowered to make the decision without him there.