Posts Tagged ‘Meetings’

Running Better Meetings

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Meetings 2It is a common fallacy that organisations that have a lot of meetings must be good at meetings. In reality, they typically just perpetuate the embedded meeting culture that is often not very effective. There is a wealth of resources on running effective meetings, and one of the latest offerings comes from Renee Cullinan in the April 29 2016 edition of (Read it here), in which Cullinan identifies three of the biggest areas for improving meetings.


  1. Including Introverts

Noisy people are not necessarily smarter, they just think out loud and so create the impression they are. Introverts are typically much quieter and process information internally. Consequently it is very common in meetings for the loud people to dominate discussion and reach a conclusion or consensus before the quiet ones have had a chance to contribute, leaving the decision-making process the poorer as a result.

Cullinan advocates a number of potential solutions for this, one of which is to circulate the meeting material prior to the meeting, thereby giving the introverts an opportunity to read and process the material prior to the meeting, and to then come to the meeting prepared to contribute.

  1. Remote Team Members

People who join meetings via teleconference often find it hard to contribute and report feeling left out. It is not uncommon for them to zone out and do other work during the meeting.

Again, Cullinan has a number of worthwhile suggestions for inclusion, one of which is to use video technology as often as possible instead of teleconference, thereby giving people a visual reference and ability to be seen.

  1. Women

Numerous research efforts have proven that during meetings women are far more likely to be interrupted and their ideas taken less seriously.

Amongst the proposed solutions from Cullinan is to create a culture of not allowing any interruptions, irrespective of who is speaking, and to “call it when you see it”.

The Avondale Business School can help you ensure your meetings are highly productive – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.


P: 02 4980 2168

Board Members – How Long is Long Enough?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

BaordHow long should someone be a member of your board? Until recently conventional thinking was to cap someone’s tenure at 9 years. It was felt that any longer and the member would become “captive” to management and no longer be considered independent. Some national regulators already impose such restrictions on corporate board membership tenure.

Research from the University of New South Wales in late 2015 (read it here) has challenged this tradition. After looking into 1500 firms, the UNSW researchers found that there are actually a number of very clear advantages of keeping board members for longer. These advantages include:

  • More likely to have a higher level of commitment
  • More likely to attend meetings
  • Generally less CEO turnover in firms with longer serving members
  • Less likelihood of CEO ‘empire-building’
  • More innovation

In investigating the potential reasons why this might be the case, the researchers postulate it is because the directors value their reputation, and the longer they are associated with the firm the more their reputation is at risk. This, coupled with their deeper knowledge of the firm and its operations means that long serving directors are better able and more likely to stand up to management.

Not reported in the research itself, but commented on by the researchers is that in their view, the optimal term for a director is 21 years. Is it time for you to review your board appointment policies and consider whether it is time to give directors the change for a longer stay?

The Avondale Business School can assist your board to become a high performing board – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School


P: 02 4980 2168

A New Look At Meetings

Monday, April 20, 2015

Boring MeetingsMy workplace utilises a number of meetings, many of which are necessary, some of which, in my opinion, are not needed. Recent research from the United Kingdom and reported by the Australian Human Resource Institute online suggest that up to three-quarters of meetings are “proving completely unnecessary”. Additionally, the article places a dollar value on the cost of these ‘wasteful’ meetings.

According to the UK based consultancy firm providing the research, a one-hour meeting attended by 10 people and one manager can cost $480 before any additional travel costs for those present is taken into consideration. This figure can be up to $1400 if a legal representative or senior manager is present. Additional external consultants can see this figure rise closer to $2000 for that same one-hour meeting. Representatives of the UK based consultancy firm point out that senior management are often oblivious to the cost of such unnecessary meetings. The major take away for managers and workplaces alike appears to be that other communication forms such as email, short briefings, and desk-based conferencing tools should be relied upon more, and face-to-face meetings that are absolutely necessary should be kept as short as possible.

You can read the full report here