Although we started the company with the intention of not being like traditional businesses, we got sucked into the quagmire of meetings. In our case it was because we wanted to give everyone a voice and not just have the evil boss decide everything. Oh boy, what a mess! There was an all hands meeting for everything, including choosing product names. That’s how we ended up with the ridiculous name of Xenofex for one of our products. At any given meeting, 80% of the people didn’t want to be there and 80% of the time was taken up by one or two blowhards.
Now we have as few meetings as possible. We only invite people who have a vested interest and a voice in the decision making. Someone is clearly in charge of each meeting and they keep it moving, shut down blowhards, and end it as soon as possible. Finally, our emergency safeguard is that anyone can yell “Shenanigans!” and the meeting is over.