Phil Factor’s recent blog on The Joy of IT Meetings contains a lot of good advice, but if you really want your meetings to be productive, I can only suggest you adopt the Simple-Talk approach. All you need are some good people, a traditional local hostelry, some lovingly-brewed real ale and about 2 hours.
Here’s a snapshot from our latest meeting, which took place at lunchtime in the excellent “Live and Let Live” pub in Cambridge:
On the right is Simon Galbraith (CEO) in his favourite top hat. In the centre, Dan Nunan (marketing) and on the right is Richard Collins (also marketing – a fine “ideas” man, though somewhat gruff in nature and always prepared for rain).
A lively debate concerning future directions of Simple-Talk had been in full flow when Dan, unfortunately, suggested turning the site into a “web 2.0-enabled social media community” and Phil Factor stormed out of the pub in disgust. I quickly handed Dan his clay pipe, set “Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony” playing on the gramophone to create a placating atmosphere, and rushed out to assuage Phil (this explains why neither of us are in the photo). Fortunately, I was able to tempt Phil back in with the offer of another fine pint of Nethergate Umbel ale and a pork pie.
After that, practical ideas and incisive debate flowed as freely as the ale. And this wasn’t just alcohol-fuelled hot air – in the next week or so on Simple-Talk, you’ll be able to see the end result of many of these ideas.
Ah yes. If you want productive and creative meetings, I can recommend this approach whole-heartedly.