Note: Denny Hatch personally replies to all readers who write in.
Readers respond to “How Not to Run a Meeting—or a Business: Lessons from the 109th Congress,” published July 27, 2006.
Loved your newsletter dealing with meetings. I run lots of meetings and attend others and what you are saying is so very true. Our congress is, indeed, an exercise in how not to run a meeting.
Excellent piece, thank you so much for such an articulate review of the sad state of our Congress. I hope the majority of these Congress people get voted out of office, regardless of their party affiliations. I’ve read several articles lately about the President’s agenda to see the Executive Office rise in power over the other two branches of government, believing it had lost great power since the days of Nixon. I believe Congress has capitulated, knowingly or not, to this plan. Thank goodness the Founders established the third branch, the Supreme Court. Now, as you point out, it is up to the voters to bring back equilibrium to the other two branches.
Your article is dead on! America would be lapping the world if it weren’t for meetings. I hope I have the chance to try this someday, but if I were a leader in an organization that had to many meetings, I would restrict meetings to before 8 AM and after 6 PM. The point is obvious, I hope. It is not to rob employees of their personal lives, but to help them “spend their employed time” (meetings or otherwise) as if it were there own. I suspect business would still get done and the really important meetings would still occur, although maybe a little shorter and on point. After the moratorium, those meetings that were scheduled during the meeting “black out” would automatically allowed to be scheduled between 8 and 5. All other meetings would be screened and monitored (like calls in a call center) to insure the meetings are productive. This type of “radical” thinking is what keeps me, like you, from working in corporate America where there is safety in numbers and the status quo.