Samuel Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, is featured in this month’s Harvard Business Review. In the piece, Khan explains that when it comes to meetings, Khan Academy’s policy is simple:
If people are meeting, they don’t need a lecture. If you don’t need them to interact, information should just be in a video or a memo.
On the HBR podcast, he went on to explain that if anyone at Khan Academy plans to speak for more than three minutes in a meeting, they are advised to record a video and make their talk available in perpetuity.
If only the world would follow this advice.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting in a meeting, listening to information that could’ve been easily conveyed via email, wondering why 50 people just had to waste what amounts to four hours of productivity.
That’s the mindset that people should have:
Multiply the number of minutes you plan on speaking by the number of people attending the meeting and ask yourself:
Is the information that I am presenting worthy of that amount of lost productivity?
Imagine a world in which the mindless minutia of meetings are moved into the medium of email and video.
What a glorious place that would be.