There are a good number of people who are anti-meetings. I understand why; they take away from doing the actual work and a lot of the time they feel very unproductive. They are often used just to gather status reports and updates rather than solve problems and help innovate.
I know at LooseKeys we’re only three people right now but I’ve been trying to build the foundation that meetings are ok and they help us. We have a structured or scheduled meeting weekly and then also meet daily to talk about projects and see how things are progressing. Sure this isn’t hard to do when it’s just a couple people; you’re already working together and its helpful to stop and plan so you’re making sure stuff works together. I try to make all these conversations happen over meals or drinks. Everyone needs to eat and it makes for a perfect time to chat.
Every Monday (if schedules permit) we all try to meet over brunch; sometimes with freelancers if we have one helping us that week and if they are able to make it. Over brunch we not only talk about our previous weekend and build a better working relationship but we also set out a plan for the week. So now Monday starts with something special, brunch at a new restaurant in Chicago but we also all know what’s happening that week.
During the week I tend to eat out everyday; I’m not a fan of bringing my lunch, I’d rather take the 30 minutes or hour to get away from the computer. Not everyone likes to buy lunch everyday and I understand that. But what’s great about grabbing lunch is while you’re thinking about the project you can talk over issues with the team while you’re all in that work mindset. This turns into a meeting even if it doesn’t feel like one. It’s unscheduled and with no agenda so people are free to bring up anything they want. This works for me and LooseKeys because we see the work as always changing and evolving. Things get really boring when you have to go to a meeting and would rather be doing the work, not just talk about it. When there’s food or drinks involved it seems less formal and makes the meeting fun.
This works on a small scale and I’ll be interested to see how it changes as LooseKeys grows. For now I’m more than happy to grab a bite to eat and talk about work.