Art of Production
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Art of Production

Why creative teams feel like most meetings are a waste of time and what producers can do about it

We’re at a stage now, exacerbated by covid Zoom fatigue, where meetings get a lot of hate. Creative teams resent them (and this is a subjective analysis not based on actual data) because they think the point of meetings is to get shit done. So when, in the vast majority of cases, meetings only generate the need for more meetings, the whole thing feels like a waste of time. But here’s the rub (the clue is in the name): the point of a meeting is not to get shit done. It’s to meet.

Early stage producers (myself included) are taught to put all the emphasis on meeting outcomes: did we make decisions? Are there clear and assignable actions? When producers obsess over this stuff it rubs off on the rest of the team and you end up in a situation where everybody has a completely skewed understanding about the value of meetings.

The purpose of process — any process — is communication. Not getting shit done, not making decisions, not assigning next steps.

Communication.

In creative production, communication between people is literally what moves the project forward. It’s not extraneous to the process. It IS the process. And meetings are the vehicle to make it happen at the right quality and cadence the project needs.

Most meetings feel like a life burn because teams place too much emphasis on the outcomes and not enough on what needs to be communicated. By placing more value on the quality of the conversation, and putting the right mix of skills, experience and knowledge around an issue, the outcomes present themselves and the value of meeting should never be brought into question.

This post was created with Typeshare

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