A week ago, I ran a consolidated site meeting which could have been separated into two. The idea of killing two birds with one stone appealed me. The corporate world really seems to slow down in July and August. Most of the key decision makers are either on vacation or catching up on their work coming back from a vacation. It was difficult to schedule a meeting with enough attendance.
My meeting was planned in two halves. The first half of the meeting was a review of existing site conditions. The second half was dedicated to review design layout. We barely started when our designer derailed from our schedule to better suit his interests. It didn’t take long before our group scattered around. In the aftermath, I took some time to reflect. Where exactly did my logic fail?
I found something interesting about our tendency to take on the path of least resistance. We are wired to take the easiest path, often to neglect alternate paths. By introducing two separate purposes, I opened an opportunity for people to follow their own path of least resistance in the context of the meeting. The engineers naturally gravitated toward the ceiling review while the designers gravitate toward the layout review.
This experience has taught me to limit my future meetings to one purpose only and to communicate clearly to all parties beforehand. In most cases, this situation can be avoided by preparing ahead of time.