Return on Time Invested

#Meeting #Culture #QuickWin #TimeInvest

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The “Return On Time Invested” method serves as an easy & quick indicator, if the invested time for a meeting is value-adding.


We have too many meetings with low or no value.

Too often, I entered a company and asked for a list of all current regular meetings. The list often contained an incredibly high number of meetings. If your company has 100+ people, I promise you that most of the CEOs and middle management don’t have a clue about how many meetings are taking place nor did they ever notice or act on signs like:

  • All meeting rooms are blocked 8 hours, 5 days a week.
  • Many employees are complaining about meetings with +10 people without value and top management didn’t even know that so many meetings exist.

Introducing the ROTI method the right way, helped to get rid of low valuable meetings as long as top management committed to it.

Real Example

Within a 500+ people company and 200 regular meetings (=1 on 1 not included!) we agreed with the top management to introduce the ROTI method:

If the meeting is (still) rated equal or below “three (3)” after the third evaluation, the meeting owner had to cancel it. Period.

After six weeks (many bi-weekly meetings) we got down to 120 meetings and most people had been super thankful. Many of those meetings really improved as meeting owners started to ask the attendees how to improve and changed meeting culture for good.

How use Return on Time Invested?

  1. Have your meeting
  2. By the end of the meeting the meeting owner asks the attendees to evaluate anonymously if time spent at the meeting was well invested compared to anything else they could have done or where they could have been at the time:
  3. On a Scale between 1 and 5:

1 = I should have been somewhere else. No value was added so far for me.

5 = Thank you for your invite, it was a very good meeting. I felt that I received the maximum value. On just the right level, I received information, decided, learned, got challenged, saw, experienced, or understood.

Also, let the attendees write feedback on to their evaluation: What could the meeting owner do, so that the time of a meeting is a good investment for you?

4. Meeting Owner may act on the feedback


  • Why the anonymous feedback?
    It gives everyone the ability to vote without being confronted with the meeting owner. The meeting owner could be the boss of some participants.
  • Can we use ROTI just as a team or part of an organization?
    Yes. Bottom up is working perfectly fine.
  • Why a digital tool?
  1. The ROTI is a common tool and it’s (a good) common practice to use flipcharts and let the participants scribble on the chart when they leave the room, but in times of the internet, I always searched for a simple web app to accelerate the method used by my clients. For startup clients, it’s even more natural to do everything online.
  2. If you have to consider the working council (Hallo Deutschland), you can be sure that no personal data will be used and nobody will be personally evaluated. You may name the meeting — you don’t evaluate the owners work performance. it’s a 100% work council proof *yeah*
  3. During beta phase, it’s free to use!