clip_image002Hot on the heels of last week’s How 2 rite English proper tip, and the previous extensive Outlook appointment duration code-a-thon, here comes a simple yet entertainingly effective idea to think about whilst you’re digesting all the over-indulgence of the Christmas period (Merry Christmas, by the way) – if you need to meet in person, why not hold shorter, more engaged and more effective meetings?

clip_image003OneNote program manager Nicole Steinbok delivered an award-winning internal Microsoft presentation, blaming inefficient meetings (in part) on the 30-minute blocks that Outlook defaults to.

Apart from the usual stuff like starting on time, having an agenda, etc etc, there are some great bits of advice for having better meetings – some which everyone knows but nobody follows…

· Stay standing up

· Close all laptops

· Silence all phones

One director in MS UK had a Lync status message, “I try not to IM in meetings, preferring to focus on the people in the room - if really urgent please do text me”.

Perhaps not as fundamentalist a stance as the 22 Minute Meeting method, but definitely a step further in the right direction than most people take.

Proud Canadian Nicole also spoke at an external event called Ignite – improving productivity 5 minutes at a time. It’s well worth watching both this and the internal one.

For more info, there’s a Facebook group now, at http://22minutemeeting.info/.