You’ve probably heard this one before: “This is an expensive meeting! Add up all the salaries in the room. It’s costing us tens of thousands!” Then the speaker exhorts you to have fewer meetings, or to invite fewer people, or to cancel this one.

What’s surprising to me is that the default position is to think about reducing the cost, rather than considering how to make the expensive meeting worth the money.

When you ask, everyone tells you that to make an effective decison or to have a useful discussion, you need to include everyone’s point of view and the unique data they have (you have to be curious) and you will want to share your own information as well (by being transparent). But when was the last meeting you held that had those characteristics? Are people in your organisation skilled at transparency and curiosity, and do they use those skills in these expensive meetings?

We think there’s plenty of room for everyone to learn the skills that allow them to gather information, create informed consent, jointly design solutions, and enable internal commitment. There are resources all over this site to help, and we even wrote a whole book on how to do it. Why not start today?