How Pixar, Google, and Facebook Put Bad Meetings To An End (Infographic)

While meetings are largely held to motivate and boost employee productivity, they can have the exact opposite outcome in many cases. In big companies, for example, a manager may call the team for a meeting only to have nothing important to communicate.

Bored employees in a bad meeting

It could be an exercise of ego-inflation on their part or simply intended to tell employees that work is being done. What this does, though, is take away from the time when actual work could have been done. In most cases, meetings are called when an e-mail would have sufficed.

What’s worst is that sometimes, work meetings are scheduled for an hour by default, even if the topic of discussion could’ve been well tended to in half the time. It detrimentally impacts the workday, and any sense of urgency for catering to the day’s work is weaned away.

Of course, some people try to continue with their day’s work even during these meetings. However, that only means that they are not paying attention.

Work productivity essentially goes for a toss when you have intermittent meetings lined up throughout the day. So, every time you’ve settled into work and have actually garnered any semblance of attention, you are forced to abandon your work project to attend a meeting.

In large organizations, therefore, an employee can only get any significant work accomplished if they appear to work early. Arriving to work soon translated to a long workday, which, again, is detrimental to productivity. It is a vicious cycle and harms both the company and its employees.

Meeting Hacks from Famous CEOs

Business meetings can have rambling monologues and unnecessary presentations, wasting precious company hours. They can really take a toll on workplace productivity. The CEOs of famous companies like LinkedIn, Google, Facebook and the like recognize this, and share below, tips on how workplace productivity can be salvaged despite conducting business meetings in an Infographic, brought to you by Wrike free project management software for Mac.

How Pixar, Google, and Facebook Fight Bad Meetings - by Wrike project management software


To recap, here are the CEOs advice  you should heed:

  • Ed Catmull, Pixar – Ed Catmull believes in letting every employee have their share of the meeting spotlight. Not every idea is going to be a blockbuster, but everyone should be allowed to share their opinion all the same. Ideas with potential can be built upon to refine them and make them workable. There should be no sense of judgment holding a company employee back from sharing their two cents. It will help build a healthy group dynamic, which will ease along success.
  • Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn – Jeff Weiner believes in beginning meetings with positivity. He encourages employees to be asked to share their workplace wins from the previous week to get the meeting started on a happy note.
  • Jeff Bezos, Amazon – Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, does not believe that arriving at a hasty consensus in a workplace meeting will do your business any good. He thinks every cons and pros to a business decision should be intricately debated upon, and employees who challenge the decision being arrived at in any meeting should do so openly. A comfortable choice is not always a profitable one.
  • Larry Page, Google – Google CEO, Larry Page is of the opinion that meetings should only be limited to 10 people at a time, for it to be easily scheduled. According to him, every session should have a decision-maker, but your company should not wait on any gathering to confirm a decision.
  • Marissa Meyer, Yahoo! – Meyer thinks that decisions are made in meetings more affirmatively when these decisions have data backing them up. An opinion should have no place in decision-making, according to her. If anybody wants to propose a new idea, they should have their supporting data ready. Otherwise, the meeting would go on endlessly with everyone wanting to advise their take on a business decision.
  • Steve Jobs, Apple – Legendary CEO, Steve Jobs, also thought that the invitees to a business meeting should be limited. Only call employees who are absolutely necessary to stay in the loop for the business decisions you plan to take in the work meeting. Also, this exclusivity of invitees should not depend on their job status but instead on their job role.
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook – Sandberg believes in organizing the pain points of a business meeting beforehand. She advises those calling the meeting to jot down the points that they’d like to address during the meeting. It allows them to keep the meeting from wandering aimlessly out of topic. It also helps restrict the meeting time, so employees can go on to rejoin their work immediately after. Sheryl Sandberg espouses that every meeting should have an agenda.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Entrepreneur – Gary Vaynerchuk does not think that scheduling hour-long meetings does any good. He advises for meetings to be planned short so that they can be focused and efficient. A meeting scheduled for an hour could go on for an hour. However, one scheduled for 15 minutes would seldom stretch for very long after.