The Value of a Meeting

People can have differing views on business ideas. There are some that see everything as an expense. These people are enamored with ideas like cost-based accounting, looking at every item to determine what was spent, including things like meetings. Others, however tend to view things as investments, a view that looks at the return in addition to what was spent.

So how do you value something like a weekly pipeline meeting. I used this calculator to discover that 8 people in a 30-minute meeting at a base pay rate of $40,000 costs $14.00 per person. What do you get for $14.00?

Accountability: If you have a weekly pipeline meeting and require people to report their results in creating new opportunities and moving existing opportunities forward, the investment in this meeting is priceless. What would you pay for accountability, and what costs would it make sense to eliminate this meeting if accountability was in some way diminished?

Ideas and Insights: If your weekly opportunity review meeting resulted in your team sharing ideas and insights around what is working, their strategy for winning deals, and how they are handling certain challenges, all of which were adopted by their peers and applied to their deals, what would you be willing to pay for that meeting? If a single shared opportunity resulted in an additional win at your average deal size with an average profit margin, was the meeting worthwhile.

Culture: Meetings are an opportunity share purpose and meaning and values. They’re a chance to tell stories and share tribal knowledge. Meetings can also give a sense of belonging, something all human beings need, and one of the things known to create greater engagement. The value of a positive, optimistic, future-oriented, and empowered culture may be close to priceless, and meetings provide a place for values to be shared.

Solving Problems: There are two kinds of problems in business. The first category of problems require a decision to be resolved. Oftentimes, that decision is made in a meeting. The second category of problems are systemic challenges that are only resolved with time, energy and real change. These too are solved in meetings, and with a lot of conversation, conversation that may not happen otherwise. The value of solving these difficult, systemic challenges produce returns far in excess of the cost of a meeting.

Meetings get a bad rap. No doubt there are bad meetings, unproductive meetings, boring meetings, and meetings for the sake of having a meeting. But there more that are useful. Meetings are still how things get done, and their benefits largely outweigh their costs.

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