Make Sure Every Aspect of Your Meeting Serves Two Purposes

The old days of silly ‘team building’ is over.

There is a time and place for bonding, but with meeting time precious, make sure any time you spend is serving at least two purposes.


Years ago I was First Mate on an 80-foot sailing vessel and there were a couple of simple rules:

  1. Every item on the boat MUST serve at least two purposes.
  2. If an item did not serve more than two purposes, it must be absolutely critical to safety or well-being of the crew.

Every single item was examined and many were discarded. This was done intentionally to create a better quality of life aboard. Previously, we spent 70% of our time in beautiful tropical locations just fixing stuff.

After we examined everything, we found that we were able to cut a huge number of items from the boat, creating more space (very limited even on a big boat).  Also, we found we were very creative and invented a few items that have become hugely popular among sailors.

Most importantly, the amount of time spent on the deck, spent diving, spent enjoying the great locations went up dramatically.

This same idea, in some form, must be translated to meetings.

Spending time building towers, building boats, racing go-carts, <insert any ‘teambuilding>, while occasionally fun, is a waste of money and more importantly, time.

Make sure every aspect of your meeting is serving another at least two purposes.  And if it isn’t, chuck it.  Or find a way to make it serve another purpose.

I have used ‘team building’ as an example because it is abused so badly in meetings.  However, this idea can and should be applied to every aspect of your meeting.

Just like our quality of life on that boat, the quality of your meetings will go up dramatically.  Your clients, and the attendees, will LOVE your meetings.

April 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Meetings & Conferences | 3 comments

3 Responses to “Make Sure Every Aspect of Your Meeting Serves Two Purposes”

  1. Jodefs says:

    That is unique. I’m truly amazed as to what I read.

  2. Lillian says:

    Bookmarked your post, “Building Teams Blog » Make Sure Every Aspect of Your Meeting Serves Two Purposes” on jumptags. Thought you would want to know, Lillian

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.