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Can you afford this meeting?

Dear Reader,

In 1995 I joined the Christian Broadcasting Network as a developer. During orientation they handed us a small form about the size of a postcard. The instructions went something like this.

  1. Write your salary on the line provided.
  2. Divide by 2080 and write this number on the line provided. 2080 is the number of work hours in a work year. This will give you your effective hourly rate.
  3. Divide your hourly rate by $5. $5 is the average monthly donation by a partner to CBN.
  4. The resulting number is the number of partners that have donated to allow you to work each hour. Remember this number each time you call a meeting. Multiply this number by the number of meetings attendees and you can get an idea of what the meeting is costing our partners. Make sure it is worth it.

This lesson has never left me. To this day, if I am in a meeting and a “discussion” begins – discussion being a euphemism for argument – I sit back and start calculating what this discussion is costing the company per minute. When you realize that your bikeshedding the color of a button on the website is costing the company $20/minute, you start to put things in perspective.

Not all meetings are necessary. For the ones that are, keep it focused, keep it short and sweet.

Until next time,
I <3 |<