Meetings without the meeting part

Meeting Without Meeting In Person
Tom Peters

Tom came to MLA to discuss the different kinds of meetings we hold in library-land, the number of meeting we hold and how to make them easier, cheaper and better. He identified 5 types of meetings:
* Face-to-Face
* Conference Call
* Video Conference
* Web-Based
* Virtual World-Based
and identified how often we meet. In a series of mathematical calculations (described in more detail in his slides he calculated that librarians convene 25 million meetings a year – and that the vast majority of them were face-to-face, with a few (23% or so) conference calls and less than 1% of each of the others. He also described doing some quick calculations during a face-to-face meeting that was dragging on about the expenditure of a couple of thousand dollars and concluded that the staff salaries alone made the meeting more expensive than whatever it was they were arguing over. His proposal was to move more meetings into the virtual space (and not by using conference calls, either, which he hates) so that people can multi-task, share rich information (documents, etc.) and be productive while meeting. He mentioned the use of social networking sites as a way to keep in touch in between meetings as well, a topic close to my heart, as you all know…
Check out his slides – they are packed with information and ideas on how to evaluate your current meetings and make ’em better. Also, check out his upcoming ALA Tech Source Tech Report for information on using virtual worlds as meeting “places”.

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