Not trying too hard

James Governor and Euan have both picked up on this post by Andrew McAfee generally challenging the protestant work ethic and busyness. Euan’s anecdote captures the potential blindness that an obsession with efficiency brings.

Everyone likes to bemoan the uselessness of most meetings. I wonder what it would be like if we really embraced the likely uselessness of a meeting right at the start. If we could then let go of agendas and the pursuit of action points. Just relax and see what happens, without expectation.

Often, our efforts to make meetings effective make them ineffective… usually because the call for efficiency is actually a demand for obedience. And obedience is a bit 20th century.

1 thought on “Not trying too hard

  1. Tony Goodson

    I like it. I’m a fan of Getting Things Done, and asking yourself, “What is the next single physical action” to shift this along.

    However, I like “A Perfect Mess” (thanks Johnnie!) which runs contrary to Getting Things Done.

    Let’s accept that meetings don’t work, and have them anyway!!

    I always ask myself what would my forefathers do; and chimps and gorillas (assuming a non Creationist view!) seem to sometimes just sit in circles, as do tribe elders. They don’t have action items to review!! However, maybe that’s what makes us so advanced now…action items!!

    Let’s meet and see what happens.

    Recently, I’ve been training groups and including elements of Getting Things Done. It’s not working! I guessed that at least 1 in 20 would take to it, but I’m lucky if I get an evangelist in 60 people. There isn’t enough motivation for most people to personally improve, unless they look up and see David Allen, or Merlin Mann, or Anthony Robbins, and say, “I want to be like them.” so you buy the books and do the actions, not because you believe in the system, but because you want some of their Kool Aid.

    So when is the first un-meeting on Skype.

    Would having a start time be too organised?

    What’s the acceptable time to turn up late?

    Let’s record the un-meeting!

    Of course, Scott Adams (Dilbert) has made an industry from the inefficiency of meetings.


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