Monday, January 04, 2010

Eight Rules for Internal Meetings

Time goes by so fast when you're in a startup. There is always too much to do and when you look around for someone to assign a task to you usually end up doing it yourself (thinking they already have too much to do too). So time is of the essence. With that in mind let's tick off my top 8 rules for internal meetings:

  1. Don't - don't meet unless you need to. This sounds like a no brainer but happens more often than you would think. Sometimes you need to get together to get on the same page but most times an email suffices.
  2. Agendify - know what you want to accomplish going in and work towards an agreed upon result.
  3. Moderate - some people will take meetings off track from the planned agenda. Politely interrupt, acknowledge their concern, move it back on track.
  4. Pare - who really needs to be there? Reduce the size of the meeting to the essential people needed to make a decision. More people = more time waste.
  5. Summarize - when you've reached a conclusion, summarize it and move on.
  6. Time Block - consistently have meetings in the same time block. Pick mornings or afternoons or schedule even tighter. "we will only have meetings between 1-4 on Tuesdays or Thursdays" This forces people to use the time efficiently and gives them a known productive block when meetings will not take place.
  7. Start - start the meetings on time whether everyone has shown or not. This gets everyone in the habit of showing up on time. I have been super guilty of this in the past. It isn't good for anyone. If this is you, just acknowledge that you're time challenged and make an extra effort to get moving earlier. This shows respect for everyone there and starts the meeting on solid footing.
  8. Cookies! - absolutely! If you're running the meeting you should always bring cookies.

... for completeness, here are a few other posts that cover the subject.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Alternative 18 countdown for 2009

I've listed SiriusXm's top 18 requested songs for their Alt radio station 2009. I starred the ones I prefer (one star = good, two stars = great, three stars = buy it right now. Just having dined at Cyrus outside of Napa, I'm going with the Michelin Guide stars rating system :).

As a side note, and even though none of them made it on this list are the Scots. There've been a number of really good Scottish bands to emerge lately and these three I like in particular. The entire Midnight Organ Fight lp from Frightened Rabbit is a well written emotional roller coaster with beautifully haunted arrangements.

Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper**
They Promised Us Jetpacks - Quiet Little Voices*

other tasting notes - Ike Reilly must surely be the least known brilliant song writer out there. Hard Luck Stories just came out in 2009 and is fairly good but in the three star category are both "Salesmen and Racists" and "We Belong to the Staggering Evening." I don't know of any other artist who can quite cut to the quick of this beautiful mess we call life.

Also, if you get the chance to see Wilco in concert, don't pass it up. I saw them last minute at Red Rocks outside of Denver this year. Red Rocks is a magical venue anyway, but together with Wilco was out of this world. I believe the encore set was longer than the main set. No one wanted to leave.

Enjoy and happy listening in 2010!

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