I had a meeting about meetings today. Pretty much. It was the later half of the weekly team meeting, and our illustrious leader decided that since the weekly meetings had been such a flop in the year past, we needed to revamp them. So he asked us for our input. Fair enough.
I, always ready to jump out in traffic if asked, suggested that the first thing we wanted to hear from him is what is important today. He liked that idea and proceeded to affirm it by saying that everyone would have to report metrics on three most important things we always have to deal with.
Which is not what I said at all.
Those three things, they are always supposed to be important; but the truth is that the daily and weekly winds that blow often fly other flags. To understand where our boss is coming from we have to understand what is giving him heartburn, and it won’t always be those three “key” metrics. Further more, in real life, none of us is going to know those metrics by heart, and we will all madly scramble to get them before the appointed hour. In the five minutes before the appointed hour.
So rather than being a reality check on where things really lay this week, it will be an artificial and panic-inducing mad dash to pretend we are all sedately working on The Important Things, rather than fighting fires as usual. And that applies to dear old boss as much as any of us; he made some lofty commitment to update all of us on Major Projects every week, but we all know he is going to stumble into the meeting five minutes late, having come from two consecutive prior meetings, and not really have the foggiest idea what is going on with the big projects.
Resolved: Next year, real life will look more like what we put on paper!