How to Run a Meeting Like Google

I am not generally a Google cheerleader, but they do have an innovative culture that I think is useful to examine closely. Business Week interviewed Marissa Mayer, Google's vice-president of search products, who has on average 70 meetings a week. Most of her process would not work well in higher education, but some of the ideas would be worth trying.

For instance, at Google, a large countdown clock is displayed on the wall, ticking off the remaining minutes of each meeting. While I don't love the idea of a big clock in the room, it might help make everyone responsible to the time and agenda. Too often, a discussion on one topic will take up most of the meeting time, leaving too little time for the remaining agenda items. It is a problem I struggle to effectively address - some issues need more time. But sometimes, it is more about time management or lack of focus.

I also love the idea of office hours for managers in higher education. Mayer got the idea from her time as a professor, and it is familiar to all of us in higher ed. She uses the office hours at Google to have brief meetings, often about 7 minutes, to discuss timely but not large issues. She described the office hours as a way to reduce latency. Office hours for managers in higher education could be really useful; it would reduce the time decisions are delayed because the next meeting with a decision maker is two weeks out.

The entire article is worth reading.

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This page contains a single entry by Amanda Rondeau published on January 11, 2010 8:57 AM.

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