Productive Meetings

with Dave Kashen

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Opportunity

Rid the world of soul-crushing meetings


Instructor
Dave Kashen

Entrepreneur, Startup CEO Coach, Team & Culture Expert

Lessons Learned

The mission of meeting hero is to rid the world of soul-crushing meetings.

Meetings now: everyone arrives with different expectations and leaves with different understandings.

Meetings are like being invited to a party where you do not know what you are celebrating.

Transcript

Lesson: Productive Meetings with Dave Kashen

Step #2 Opportunity: Rid the world of soul-crushing meetings

So our mission for Meeting Hero is to rid the world soul-crushing meetings. We want every meeting on Earth to be highly productive and engaging experience. We think that's possible and some of the core insights are that a little bit of structure goes a long way and that, right now, one of the major problems with meetings is six different people show up with six different ideas of what the meeting is supposed to be about, have, in a way, six different conversations and leave with six different ideas of what just happened.

That's the state of meetings today and then that manifests as a lot of frustration, people then will, "Wait. I thought we were doing this, I thought we were doing that." Stuff doesn’t get done and then the feeling is, "Oh, that meeting was so inefficient." And so one of the things we're trying to do with Meeting Hero is give every meeting one live, shared space and what that does is it’s just a space that can be used for collaboration before the meeting, during the meeting and after the meeting.

One of our core insights, a lot of people think that the reason that people have such bad meetings is because people don't know how to run meetings well. We think that's not true, we think people know how to run meetings well, they just don't do the things that they know they should do. And so we're trying to reduce the friction by automating and simplifying all the things people know they should do and want to do to have more effective meetings, but just don't do. And there's a lot.

So if you think about before, during and after the meeting, before the meeting ideally there is some conversation or some kind of communication or at least a broadcast about what the point of the meeting is so that people can prepare for it, choose whether to attend it or not, right. A lot of time there's a meeting, it's not clear what the purpose is and you have to decide whether to attend or not.

It's like being invited to a party where we don't tell you who else is going to be there, and how long it goes, and if they're going to have music, food, et cetera. How do you make a decision? What happens a lot today is people just err on the side of attending meetings and they attend way too many meetings and end up showing up at meetings that they actually didn't need to be there for.

I want to try and help ensure that every meeting has some clear agenda and, if desired, for the team that actually have some communication around what that agenda should be for people to be able to add agenda items right now, it's pretty much . . . for the minority meetings that actually have an agenda beforehand, it's usually one person creating it with not a lot of input from other people.

We're making it frictionless for you to create an agenda but then also to get input on it, so that by the time the meeting starts, everyone has had a chance to add or contribute to what the agenda is and should be. And then, even if you haven't done that, or whether you have or not, there's this really simple template that we provide for agenda and action items and sort of open issues. So if you get to the meeting and there hasn't been an agenda you're staring at this page that has a box on it that says Agenda.

It just sort of nudges you and your team to, "Okay, I guess we should figure out what the agenda is.” Even if you have not created one beforehand, which is okay, teams end up sparing the first few minutes figuring out what the agenda is and have a lot more focused discussion. And then, in this template, there's a place to record action items and notes and open issues. Again, it's real time collaborative so many people can be literally on the same page at the same time. So you create one shared record of the meeting together, and then in one click you can send it out to everybody and then that gets stored in your summary of meetings until you have all the information about all of your meetings in one place.

The good news is every organization in the world has meetings and knows they could and should be better, so it's a big market. It's early days, so we know there is a lot still to do but we're stunned and delighted by the feedback that we're getting. Teams are using it, they're trying it out, once they try it out they enjoy the experience, find it really valuable and they're using it on a regular basis for their meetings. And we're seeing huge growth and tons od sign ups and, most importantly, we're really excited to see that people are finding value in it and really getting a lot of value out of it and continuing to use it on ongoing basis.

The companies that we’re already serving, we’re just really humbled and excited to be able to serve. Airbnb, Uber and Samsung, and BrightRoll and Eventbrite and Edmodo and all these great companies that are pioneers. And if we can help make what they do more effective and be this lever to give them more productivity, and output and growth and help them achieve their vision then that feels great to us.

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