Various corollaries to this law follow. After at least 80% of meetings, any decisions taken will be in line with the HIPPO, or “highest-paid person’s opinion”. In short, those who backed a different outcome will have wasted their breath. Perhaps because they are aware of the futility of their input, fewer than half of the people in a large meeting will bother to speak and at least half of the attendees will at some point check their phones.
…. In 1957, C. Northcote Parkinson, an academic and legendary writer on management, came up with the law of triviality, that “the time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved.” In that same spirit, this columnist would like to propose an even broader principle, applying to gatherings of ten people or more, and immodestly called Bartleby’s Law: “80% of the time of 80% of the people in meetings is wasted.”