How to keep awake in your next meeting

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I confess, I rather enjoy meetings. Especially when I’m sure of:

  • the real purpose of the meeting
  • the agenda
  • what’s needed from me.

Because I look for those 3 key things, I can usually walk out of any meeting with a clear picture of what I need to do next.

There are also the unfortunate series of meetings that waste time and confound the participants. One instance jumps to my mind higher than the rest. A senior and I entered a meeting where two client representatives took the earlier-agreed meeting purpose and agenda and threw them out of the window!  Their words and actions told me that they had no idea what the problem was and how they were going to fix it. It sounded to me that they didn’t want us to look into it, but agreed to meet anyway because their boss had told them to. I heard things like-

  • “We have engagement issues,”
  • “Our problems are intrinsic to our own specific ecosystem!”
  • “You’re experienced in this, why don’t you scope out our issues and solutionize them?”

Two things came into my mind that day: projectile vomiting and the  buzzword bingo card,  like the ones Wally handed out to Dilbert and Alice. I thought about that (the card) a lot, and finally came up with one, using jargons that many in the consulting industry may recognize. If you want to take a whack at using it , all you need to do is download my free pdf here: MBC01_FK . It follows the same principle of the ones Wally made. If you have your own terms that are “intrinsic to YOUR ecosystem”, add them in the row of empty boxes that I’ve added at the bottom.

Before sending me hate-mail though, remember:

  • It’s for fun – I still use many of the words in that card myself (if I can get away with it)
  • It’s a collection of the jargons that I often hear in meetings and read in documents that orbit my atmosphere (did you like that one? Orbit my whatsits, heh.)

I’ll put up the explanations to the words soon.

Oh, if you do decide to use my card: thanks, enjoy, and don’t get caught.

For more of Dilbert, check out http://dilbert.com/  I also follow them on twitter via @DailyDilbert. The strip I used here is from 22 Feb, 1994.

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