This article is a funny look at awful management practices, techniques, gimmicks, and the misuse of technology, and how they can make business meetings descend into chaos.
No matter the industry in which we work, we have all experienced the joys of working for an absolutely awful manager. Thankfully, for a lot of us the only time we ever see them is during management meetings, when they manage to cover themselves in glory for all to revere and laugh at.
This is a collection of the funniest and stupidest things to happen in business meetings.
The Ice Breaker
Do not get me wrong, the icebreaker is, in general, a good idea. It allows people to relax and settle them for the day ahead. Until the manager pulls out the ridiculous “Hopes and Fears” icebreaker. What are my hopes and fears for today? Well, to be honest I hope that this complete waste of time, expenses draining meeting only runs until lunchtime so we can go in the pub and get drunk. My fear would be saying something ridiculous that would make you think I am not taking this seriously at all.
I have experienced this one myself personally, and it is fair to say that the person running the meeting never used it again. It was a toss-up between this and the stupid notion of having an agenda point titled “Any Other Business,” but this one just about won out.
Putting something on the backburner is, of course, a saying for leaving something until later. During this particular meeting, the facilitator actually put a piece of flip chart paper on the wall titled “The Backburner.” Whenever someone queried something in the meeting that he did not want to discuss, it went “on the backburner.”
Everyone, except for me, obviously, thought this was a great idea, until 5pm rolled around and, with everyone wanting to head off home, we still had 12 issues to discuss that had been put on the backburner earlier. To this day I have still not experienced something so ridiculous!
What Can We Do?
It is always great to be at a meeting with someone who does not know how to use PowerPoint. Using PowerPoint as the main basis for a meeting is a crime in itself, but that is a story for another day. “Employee engagement” is a buzz word in management speak these days, so what better way to engage them than by asking them what they think the companies’ objectives are.
Better yet, why not idiotically put the answers up first without realising, then shower praise on your team for having such great ideas and being in tune with the company mission statement so closely?