Thursday, May 22, 2008

POWER meetings

One of the things I love most about working in a really huge company is that there is a whole system set up for the reservation of conference rooms.

At a small company, you just go into the conference room. If the company is large enough that a meeting might be occurring without your prior knowledge, it is probably also large enough to have two conference rooms.

But this place? Who knows how many rooms we have set aside just for meetings. If we were more efficient, they wouldn't be empty so often or we would just have fewer of them. And that's probably exactly what some genius MBA was thinking when they started the project to develop the "Conference Room Scheduler" (which, I should note, dethroned the previous application called "Conference-room scheduler" that was totally different). This application runs on the intranet and permits me to reserve a conference room in any of the company's office locations in the country. There is a separate system for international sites for some reason. You can also schedule things like projectors and network hubs (in case everyone attending is not equipped for wireless) and the like. But not, it is important to note, critical meeting aids like coffee or lunch.

Well, like it or not, this is the application what you've gotta use if you want to have any kind of uninterrupted meeting. Imagine the embarrassment of having someone walk in while your arm is above your head as you gesticulate wildly in front of a white board and your right hand is flinging a red dry-erase marker dangerously through random geometrical shapes in an effort to ensure that the other people in the room are on the same page with you. My god, caught in the act! right?

Back to the Conference Room Scheduler. It so happens that there's no level of authority required to orchestrate a meeting, and no minimums or checks or reporting on who has what meetings, which is a good thing. If there were, we would slide even more deeply into a dilbert-esque universe where people were measured on having meetings instead of more concrete evidence of productivity like, oh I dunno, results or maybe the bottom line or just the number of hours that their ass is in their veal fattening pen. So, with no requisite for need or authority, I have taken to having a meeting each day at around 2:20 pm that lasts for about 20-25 minutes in which I and all my reports (none) work on our shavasana.
It is great, I tell you. After these POWER meetings I feel incredibly refreshed and healthy, like I could (if I so chose) be an efficient and effective contributing member of my team.

And some days, I actually am.

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