Over past two decades, I must have attended hundreds of meetings in relation to my professional work. These meetings were of various nature, including discussions of audit observations with auditees, meetings of CFTs (where I was invited as expert), audit committee meetings and board meetings, review meetings and of course business development meetings, organized at my behest.
If I am attending the meeting as the lone representative of my organization, I have to do most of the speaking and get lesser time to observe the people present. But if I am accompanied by any of my colleagues, then I get some time to observe the people, their actions, reactions, oratory, communication skills, overall participation in the discussions, body language and many more.
A lot has been written about the meeting etiquettes, communication skills, presentation skills, listening skills, attire and what not. So many suggestions and recommendations are available about the quality of the meeting decorum, but seldom anything is discussed or even thought about the quality of the meeting quorum. Here I am using the word quorum for people attending the meeting and not as the minimum number of attendees required under any kind of stipulation.
Recently, I got a chance to go through some kind of sample survey conducted internally by the HR department of one of my clients. The purpose of the survey was totally different. But for me it revealed so many amazing facts. Let me list down some of them. The company has 40 working hours per week as standard.
After enjoying these survey results for some time, I was compelled to think about this whole issue of ‘Office Meetings’. I realized that indeed there are more number of people who were really not required to attend the meeting. Or if they were required, then definitely not required to attend the whole of the meeting. What a waste of man power. What a waste of important resource.
I discussed this issue with my team members, senior officials at clients and my other professional friends. All of them were of the similar opinion. Basis our discussions, I have gathered some recommendations which I would like to put for your consideration.
From our side, we have started circulating the list of our audit observations to all the concerned auditees. We also mention the names of the concerned persons related to every issue. This is for the reference of the HOD only. This helps them to understand the issue in advance and come prepared for the discussions. This also helps them to call upon the person concerned. During the audit closure meeting, we request the CEO and CFO to invite the teams one by one. This has been well accepted by most of them.
Dear reader, these are some of the issues I have listed. Please let me know your views, opinion and suggestions on this topic.