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Making meetings better?

Posted: September 25th, 2019, 11:53 pm
by Charlie Randall
So in the latest Freakonomics podcast about making meetings better, there's the following exchange. Do you think he meant unbelievably bad or unbelievably good?

If you doubt the legitimacy of Parkinson’s Law, consider this story from a listener named Chad Wiebe. He’s a financial planner in Canada.

Chad WIEBE: So my boss at the time said, “Let’s have a four-hour long meeting,” which is excruciating. So at the end of this planning meeting we had half an hour still to fill. I put my hand up and I said, “You know what, I think it would be really appreciated if we just cut everybody loose a half hour early, let everyone get back to the office a little bit earlier.” And I was met with silence for about 10, 15 seconds before one of my other middle managers piped up and said, “You know what? I just brought in a client who’s a magician.” And so, we hired a magician. For half an hour. It was unbelievable.

Re: Making meetings better?

Posted: September 26th, 2019, 8:18 am
by Joe Lyons
Since they’re citing Parkinson’s Law, my guess is a negative connotation.

Re: Making meetings better?

Posted: September 26th, 2019, 6:31 pm
by erdnasephile
I hate meetings---so much wasted time. The best idea I've seen was a company-wide policy at an investment firm to hold meetings with everyone standing. Another good idea is the "two pizza" rule at Amazon: ... ngs-2017-6

Can you imagine being the poor magician who had to try to entertain a group that had already been meeting for 3.5 hours?

Re: Making meetings better?

Posted: September 26th, 2019, 7:11 pm
by Jonathan Townsend
Believable magic would be a different story. :)