Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Meetingnesia - A Corporate Epidemic

We've all been there:  a follow-up meeting where the principals are astounded by some mysterious or unsatisfactory decision/result of a previous meeting -- that they attended.  For the longest time in my business career I assumed that this had a simple explanation: these people were morons*.  Until my epiphany today.

 These people, most commonly middle managers, aren't morons**.  They're victims of a epidemic: Meetingnesia***. It's the silent corporate productivity killer -- follow-up meetings are spent rehashing and rearguing previously agreed-upon topics rather than accepting this and moving on. How can you tell if your coworker is a sufferer?  Here are some common statements that can clue you in:
  • "Is this the same chart as last time? I remember it differently."
  • "I don't remember agreeing to that"
  • "Was that in the email?"
  • "Did you email this?"
  •  I think we need to start over on this. Run a few more scenarios and get back to us."
Unfortunately, there's no cure. It's not terminal to the victim, but it tends to be terminal to their coworkers' job satisfaction.  My advice? Claim the differences are due to the Coriolis Effect -- they won't remember it, anyway.

* Or maybe forgetful. Or liars.  Or a combination. But none of these are as funny as "morons".  I love that word.
** Or, more accurately, aren't NECESSARILY morons.
*** The "g" is silent.


TravellingAK said...

OMG, how true! Spot on, I am very happy to be out of the corporate world for now. And the more we are steering towards tele conf solutions, the more meetingnesia will kick in; Everybody is doing something else while in a meeting... SO inefficient.

jtingermany said...

I'm sorry, could you repeat that? I was on my CrackBerry