What does that meeting cost?

Meetings are infamous for being a waste of time. 67% of all meetings are failures.

And yet, we see our virtual calendars filled with meeting blocks. Anybody is allowed to mark us down for an hour of our time, often without a specific agenda or objective. Periodically, we see entire teams and departments with a hundred members or more dial into a meeting.

What does this translate to in money terms?

Let us say about 10 executives attend a meeting. And each one of them earns an average of €30 per hour. If the meeting goes on for an hour, it costs the firm €300. The person who called that meeting is then responsible for deriving at least €300 of value from it. If the same employee who calls a wasteful hour-long meeting was caught squandering €300 of the company’s funds, they would be fired.

We do not value our time in the same manner that we value money.

For longer sessions, it can get worse. A day long workshop with 10 such people costs €2,400. A two-day training with 40 attendees? A whopping €19,200 plus travel costs. I have attended few workshops or trainings where I have seen a contribution commensurate to the resources we pour into them.

The time value of money – how the value of money is discounted with time is a fundamental accounting concept. We need to talk more about the money value of time.

Inspiration: Alex Cowan’s online course on Digital Product Management

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