Monday, February 25, 2008

Before your next face-to-face meeting, consider these questions...



Jessica Lipnack has put together a great checklist with questions to ask yourself before your next face-to-face meeting so that you don't travel and cause CO2 emissions unless it is absolutely necessary.

  1. Do you need to have a difficult conversation?

  2. Do you need to make decisions that depend on interpretation of subtle cues in body language?

  3. Do you need 8 or 16 hours of continuous work together?

  4. Do you have to share “things” that would be difficult to experience at a distance, like touring a facility or using a piece of equipment?

  5. Have you calculated the true cost of the meeting in terms of direct expenses and personal wear-and-tear?

  6. Have you done a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the meeting’s contribution to CO2 emissions?

  7. Do you sometimes travel because you like it or get the feeling that you are important for doing so? Is the meeting you’re planning one of those?

  8. If you do absolutely need face-to-face, could you:
    A. Organize a high-end video conference if people have never seen one another?
    B. Or, conduct a series of highly organized conference calls over a week’s time?

  9. If you absolutely need face-to-face, are you traveling to the most convenient location for everyone?

  10. Is everyone attending the meeting essential? Could some call in for part of the meeting?

  11. If you choose not to travel, can you explain your decision clearly to others?

I will definately start using myself to see how it works.

A next step could be to identify typical meeting scenarions and use the checklist to identify which scenarios that do not require in-person meetings. After that, I'd like to look at how these scenarions can be supported by various communication and collaboration technologies.