How Much Are You Really Spending on Meetings?

Before he retired, my father was the head of a large reinsurance broker. If you’ve never heard of reinsurance don’t worry, no one has—in an ironic twist, reinsurance companies sell insurance polices to insurance companies to protect them from a catastrophic loss.

Anyhow, he once told me a story about how part of his team had run amok with in-person meetings. It reached the point where every discussion, every decision—virtually any type of interaction—happened in the form a meeting, typically with a roster that included as many people as possible in shameless, ass-covering fashion.

My dad instituted a new policy: anyone organizing a meeting would provide the attendee list to HR, who would tally up the salaries of each employee and give an approximation of the hourly cost of the event. This number was to be posted on the outside of the meeting room door and shared in the meeting invite.

Suddenly, the number of meetings dropped by almost 80%.