David Grady On Saving The World From Bad Meetings

Searching for a solution to put a stop to mindless time wasting that goes on in the meeting room? Look no further, David Grady has some great advice to share.

After all, meetings have started to take over the corporate world. At least that’s the feeling we get at Weekdone, which is why we have substituted a lot of team meetings with our own weekly progress reports.


To help us come to an understanding how incredibly intrusive unproductive meetings are, David Grady gives a brilliant comparison:

What David Grady asks you to do is to imagine a simple situation: Imagine it’s a Monday morning. You’ve just arrived at the office. This guy that you kind of know from around, walks right into your cubicle and steals your chair.

He doesn’t say a single word. Just takes your chair and roles away with it. He doesn’t even acknowledge that you might need to use the chair. That you might need it to actually get some work done.

It’s a situation you probably wouldn’t stand. What you would do, is follow that guy back to his cubicle and claim the chair back. You wouldn’t even consider otherwise.

Now, on Tuesday morning, a meeting invitation pops up in your calendar. It’s from this women that you kind of know from down the hall and this meeting subject is something you’ve heard a little about. There’s no agenda, no clear explanation why you should be included. Yet, you accept the invitation and you go. No questions asked.

When the highly unproductive meeting is over you go back to your desk and wish you could get the 2 hours back. Just like you wish you could get your chair back.

According to Grady every day you let your co-workers steal something precious from you. Something that is much more valuable than any item or a physical object ever could be. You let them steal your time. But you never question it. You just accept it, go for it and regret coming back from it.

Keeping this in mind, David Grady believes we are in the middle of global epidemic. There’s a terrible new illness known as MAS – Mindless Accept Syndrome. Something we’ve tried to fight for few years now. Providing teams and team leaders with better options, offering a progress reporting system that reduces the need for impromptu meetings.

What’s the primary syndrome of the MAS?

An involuntary reflex in which a person accepts a meeting invitation without even thinking why. A common illness among office workers worldwide. MAS is truly a global epidemic.

There’s no doubt about it, meetings are important. So making them more productive and efficient should be a big concern. Strangely enough, the common theme is this fundamental belief that we are powerless to do anything other than go to meetings and suffer though these poorly run meetings.

But David Grady has a cure to MAS and it’s NO MAS.

Here’s how NO MAS works:

1. By pushing the maybe button on meeting invitations.

2. Getting in touch with the person who asked you to come to the meeting. Asking him or her what the goal of the meeting is and how you can help them achieve the goal.

If this process is repeated often enough, people will become more mindful. People will become more thoughtful putting together meeting invitations, people will actually start putting together agendas and you’ll be doing more thoughtful decision accepting these invitations. And soon you will find that your team meetings are more effective.

Treat your time with the respect it deserves. Admit that some of the meetings could be cancelled. To shed off some time from team update meetings, use Weekdone weekly progress reporting software. You’ll be aware what each team-member is currently working on, what do they plan to do next and where are they struggling. No need to wait until the next status update meeting to find out how things have been humming along.