Most Corporate Meetings are Like Nascar

In my professional career, I have learned the higher you go in an organization, the more meetings you are required to attend.  Whether it be team meetings, meetings about meetings, meetings to prepare for upcoming meetings, or marathon conference calls, the map of corporate america is littered with meetings. 

Although effective and efficiently run meetings can be a great value to any organization, the percentage of effective versus ineffective meetings is despairing.  Most meetings consist of agendas, warring parties vying for power or influence, or misguided attempts to justify someone’s salary.  So how are these meetings like NASCAR?

Not bashing this… sport, but for the life of me, I have yet to understand the thrill of NASCAR.  Simply put, you have a number of cars driving around a circle at max speeds.  I agree there is a lot of strategy involved, but they are still driving around a circle.  No progress made.

Another issue I have had with the race is the length.  Why not race only a couple of cars for say 10 laps, determine the winner and have something similar to a tournament style system determine the fastest car?  In my humble opinion, this would make the races a lot more entertaining.   The long, 200 laps of constant circling leaves anyone waiting for the inevitable, and sometimes exciting crash that breaks up the droning, circular marathon.

So back to my point, how are most meetings and NASCAR similiar?  Here are a couple of similiarites:

1.  Most meetings are like the track of most NASCAR races: circular.  There is rarely a clear destination, despite the elegant five page agendas.  Meetings, like any race, should have a clear destination point or point of resoultion.  Laps going around the same points are similiar to the 200 laps of a race.  It leaves most involved in the meeting waiting and (if like me) wishing for the crash to break up the circular motion around the same topics. 

Want to know the next two points?  Be sure to come back to read the next post!

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help organizations incorporate best practices into their business to help them succeed. In his free time, he also writes a lot on his other blog, Christian Men, Christian Warrior.

For my professional resume, click here.


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