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To determine why meetings are unproductive to such a large degree and what implications this has for management, we surveyed more than 230 Caribbean business people. Over 60 Caribbean executives and professionals identified key elements required for effective meetings and revealed a disparity between the usefulness of those elements and actual use of them. We draw the conclusion that meetings not only mirror management, but are an important indicator of administrative ability that may be a key factor in upward mobility for managers.
For the purpose of this study, 16 populations were identified. The analysis was conducted using responses from Antigua and Baruda, Anguilla, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Caribbean nationals who recently emigrated to the USA.
Of the respondents to our survey, 8 per cent said that over 50 per cent of the time spent in meetings was unproductive. Fifty-three per cent said that 25 to 50 per cent of the time spent in meetings was unproductive; 31 per cent said that it was between 10 and 25 per cent, while only 8 per cent indicated that 10 per cent or less of the time in meetings was wasted. Unproductive time spent in poorly-run meetings translates to a loss of approximately $37 billion annually in the USA alone[1-3].
Caribbean executive responses to meetings
This survey found that …