Skip to main content

The Rashomon meeting!

Imagine a bunch of really, really smart people in a room... but they also had me. :-/

They meet, talk to leadership, feel like they had a great meeting and then go away. They're pumped and excited about the great discussion they had.

Now fast forward to a week later - I find the Rashomon effect in full force.

Everyone agreed (more or less) on what was said at the meeting, but most had drawn slightly (in some cases significantly) different conclusions as to what to do next.

This is hardly unusual and extremely understandable - everyone came in with slightly different view points and ideas, and so focussed on (or extrapolated) different parts of the discussion. As a result they drew different conclusions.

Now this shouldn't have happend and wouldn't if we'd run the meeting like all Google meetings should be.

Moral of the story:

  1. Take notes - always. Make sure you appoint a note-taker at the start of the meeting or before it.                                                                                                                                   
  2. Make sure the note-taker distributes notes quickly right after the meeting to everyone that was there and everyone else that may be relevant.
    That way there are no surprises and everyone leaves on the same page - or the debate on what to do next happens right away.
Else the punishment could be steep  - you may need to have another meeting.



Shailesh said…
I think its also worth discussing the format of meeting notes. Verbatim transcription vs. a summarized bullet point list of status updates, decisions taken and action items assigned.

Popular posts from this blog

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.

Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)

It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…