Meeting Management
4 min read

Meeting productivity: 6 principles from Elon Musk (+ bonus tip)

Smiling man leaves business meeting

Meetings are one of the biggest resource guzzlers in companies. That's why it's worth taking a critical look at meeting productivity and continuously improving the culture behind it.

Speaking of critical. Tesla boss Elon Musk is known for having high expectations of his employees. Now a (somewhat older) email has been published that reveals the entrepreneur's view on meeting productivity. Here are his six principles, summarized by Twitter user Alex Voigt:

1. avoid large meetings

Meetings with many participants waste valuable time and energy

  • They prevent discussions.
  • They lead to individuals being reserved rather than open.
  • There is not enough time for everyone to contribute.

Do not plan large meetings unless you are sure that the meeting format will benefit everyone.

2. leave a meeting if you are not contributing

If a meeting does not

  • your input,
  • your contribution or
  • your decisions

your participation is useless.

It is not impolite to leave a meeting.
But it is rude to waste other people's time.

3. forget the chain of command

Communicate directly with your colleagues.
Not through superiors or managers.
Those who communicate quickly make quick decisions.
Quick decisions = competitive advantage.

4. be clear, not clever

Avoid nonsensical words and technical jargon.
They slow down communication.
Choose words that are:

  • concise,
  • to the point and
  • easy to understand

Don't sound clever. Be efficient.

5. refrain from frequent meetings

There is no better way to waste employees' time.

Use meetings to:

  • collaborate
  • tackle problems head-on
  • Solve urgent problems

Once you've solved the problem, frequent meetings are no longer necessary.

Most problems can be solved without a meeting.
Instead of meetings:

  • Send an SMS
  • Send an email
  • Communicate in a Discord or Slack channel

Don't interrupt your team's workflow if it's not necessary

6. use common sense

If a company rule

  • does not make sense,
  • does not contribute to progress or
  • does not apply to your specific situation,

then avoid following it blindly.

Do not follow rules. Follow principles.

Bonus tip: Use software for more meeting productivity

‍Meeting management software such as can make a significant contribution to better implementing some of these principles within a company. By planning, conducting and following up meetings more consciously and therefore more efficiently, the potential can be better exploited and resources used more efficiently.

Software can therefore help to optimize the meeting culture, make better decisions and thus achieve greater impact.

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