David Frederick's | iAIR BLOG

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Rules for Making Global Meetings Work

No one likes to have conference calls with our colleagues in the middle of the night to accommodate the time zone differences, or forcing your colleagues in other global regions to stay later in their day to accommodate our time zone issues. Unfortunately, these are the realities of global business. It’s a drag for all involved. But there is hope. I came across an interesting book from HBR’s OnPoint Collection called a Guide to Making Every Meeting Matter. You can check that out here.

In the guide, it discuss some of these challenges and how to make these issues work for all involved.  Here are two policies taken from the guide that can make your far-flung team’s meeting easier:
1: Share the inconvenience. It’s not fair to force a few people in Delhi to always take the call at 3am local time. Rotate your meeting time so that everyone shares the burden of an inconvenient time. (DF Note – This is not only fair. it’s polite and shows you value your colleagues time).
2: All together or all separate. The dynamic of a meeting can be thrown off if some people can see and talk to one another offline. If one person is separated from the rest, ask everyone to call in from their desks and/or use video conference. This means no one unduly benefits from side conversations or facial expressions. (DF NOTE) Better yet, use Skype, iChat, Web Ex, Go To Meeting, or other types of multi-person video/voice conferencing (WARNING: If you use WebEx and have a video camera and don’t want to be seen, disable that feature or put a sticky over your camera. Otherwise, you may be on video for all to see in your tiger stripped pajamas during that 3:00AM call!)

If you deal with these types of issues when conducting global meetings I highly recommend you check out the guide.

-DF

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Written by David Frederick

April 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

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