How We Do Meetings

Meetings can be an extremely powerful tool when they’re used properly. However, they can also be disruptive and lead to fragmentation of knowledge and participation within a team. By setting up meeting guidelines, we hope to get everyone on the same page with a process around conducting meetings at XMTP.

Speedy meetings

Back-to-back meetings are draining. That’s why we intentionally shorten them to allow for a break after, or in-between meetings. Furthermore, this ensures everyone is aware that time is a scarce resource. Meeting times are as follows:

  • 25 minute meeting, with a 5 minute break
  • 50 minute meeting, with a 10 minute break
  • 75 minute meeting, with a 15 minute break
    • Note: meetings of this length should be very rare

Guiding Principles

This guide is heavily inspired and sometimes lifted directly from Hugo’s “Vital” methodology.

  1. Time is a scarce resource, meetings should be too
    Meetings are not free. They require your time and focus to participate meaningfully.
  2. Thoughtful scheduling over broad invitations
    Good meetings are intentional in a way that respects both your colleagues and their time. No one is in a meeting except for the people who must be there. And no meeting goes on longer than necessary
  3. Active discussion over mind-numbing presentation
    Meetings are designed to be collaborative, not unilateral. Active discussion engages the entire room, generating significantly more value than dull, one-way presentations.
  4. Freely sharing over knowledge silos
    Meetings are a shared activity. Information from them and about them should be actively shared, even with people who did not participate in the meeting
    ---- Use Grain.co to share important clips from meetings and supercharge your notes. Here’s a Grain on how to use Grain at XMTP How to use Grain for meeting notes and sharing information (5m 22s)

PANTS Test

No, this doesn’t mean we require you to wear pants to your meeting, though that would be encouraged. At XMTP every meeting should pass the PANTS test, which stands for: Purpose, Agenda, Notes, Tasks, Shared.

  • Don’t schedule a meeting unless it has a stated purpose
  • Don’t hold a meeting unless it has an agenda
  • Every meeting must have a note. If there is nothing noteworthy about your meeting, you shouldn’t have held it.
  • You may not conclude a meeting unless all tasks have an owner
  • You are not done with your meeting process until notes and tasks have been shared
    – Use Grain.co to share important clips from meetings and supercharge your notes. Here’s a Grain on how to use Grain at XMTP How to use Grain for meeting notes and sharing information (5m 22s)

All of the above can be accomplished by 1) Setting up a shared meeting note here in Discourse and 2) Recording any tasks to Height and then sharing their task numbers back with the shared note.