A couple weeks ago I churned through an easy read by Richard Templar, The Rules of Work. Written in a conversational style, filled with anecdotes and very simple – conventional business wisdom, although I don’t agree with everything in there (he is a little too calculating). A book I would definitely recommend to graduates and younger staff members, or to a few who have forgotten some of the basics.
I am now whipping through The Rules of Management (sense a theme?). I love Rule No. 4 on meetings:
To be effective you shouldn’t allow anyone to reminisce, ramble, rabbit on, refuse to shut up or relax. Keep ‘em moving fast and get them out of the door as soon as you can.
You don’t do ‘any other business’ – ever. If it’s that important it should be on the agenda. If it isn’t, then it shouldn’t be there at all. ‘Any other business’ is invariably someone trying to get something over on someone else.
Hold all meetings at the end of the day rather than at the beginning. Everyone’s anxious to be off home and it keeps meeting shorter; at the beginning of the day everyone has ages to digress and chat.
… Useful tip – never schedule meetings to begin exactly on the hour, always say 3:10 rather than 3 o’clock.
The end of day idea is brilliant (for large meetings) and the 3:10 feature is one that I wish was in Outlook. How is it possible for me to be on time when I am back to back in the calendar? If Outlook had a feature defaulting to 50 minute meetings it would make a world of difference.
PS: I also read David Allen’s Ready for Anything while on vacation and was quite disappointed. Hundreds of pages of ‘buy into Getting Things Done and you will be more successful’. Got it, believe in GTD, use GTD, didn’t need to read 52 reasons of why I should continue to use it.