Information Loss during Meetings is the Next Big Hurdle for Businesses Targeting Process Adoption
Ever wondered how much those futile meetings conducted twice a day, four times a week cost the company? Business Insider did. They estimated that companies suffer a loss of approx. $37 billion a year due to unproductive meetings. And that’s where the problem lies — with a plethora of business issues to address, productivity loss is just another addition to the pile of problems.
That’s unwanted. Totally avoidable, in fact.
So, does that mean meetings need to be done away with? Are they merely a waste of time?
The unproductiveness of such seemingly important business meetings can mainly be attributed to bad time management, too many of them, or, the more serious, loss of information. While time can be managed by being punctual and the excessive meetings can be cut down to sitting just for the essential task list, it is the information loss that still remains as the big hurdle. What’s always been the challenge is to figure out a way to capture essential information without losing focus on important meeting agendas.
Why We Lose Focus
We as humans rely on our brain to remember every important piece of information, facts, figures, and highlights we go through on a daily basis. But the human brain can only summarize so much.
Northwestern University’s Paul Reber says, “The information we’re experiencing comes in faster than the memory system can write it all down.”
This only means that verbally trying to remember highlights of a meeting is more or less the same as being just physically present in the room. This is why taking notes increases our chances of remembering the highlights of a meeting more than just listening and trying to take it all in. Not only this, taking notes increases conviction towards the elements of the meeting.
Psychologists say that humans feel more obliged towards written agreements. In other words, written decisions have a higher conversion rate than their verbal counterparts. This is important if you have ever introduced a new product to your marketing team and the creative team didn’t respond to the required copy because they misunderstood the specifications.
Now, here’s the loophole: we can only concentrate one task at a time. Making notes manually during meetings almost blocks the focus on discussions. That’s where business meetings lose their value.
The Problem with Manual Note Taking
For companies targeting process adoption, any loss of information regarding the Awareness, Interest, Evaluation or Trial of the product can disrupt the Adoption/Rejection stage. The proceedings of the Marketing department affect the dealings of the Sales department. A convenient performance by the Marketing Department will automatically bring out the best of Sales.
For the Marketing department to pass on useful information to the Sales department, they need to be able to remember it. From the initial Awareness stage where the prospects are introduced to the product, the Interest where more information about the product is let on, the Evaluation stage where the benefits of the product are considered, the Trial stage where the first purchase is meant and the final stage where the product is either Adopted or Rejected.
Unfortunately, that’s where most of the information gets lost.
Similarly, the agendas discussed during meetings can improve processes and highlight key focus areas for the upcoming days. And, since, a business meeting involves opinions from several people that ramifies into several next steps, it becomes nearly impossible to make a note of them, stay focused on the discussion, and identify what next to do — all at the same time.
Think of it this way: there are so many things discussed during a meeting — agendas, ideas, opinions, counter-opinions, feedback, possibilities, next steps.
I guess I have been able to clearly outline why and how business meetings, eventually, turn into a clutter.
The Current Scenario
Note-taking has been adopted as a means of retaining useful information in a lot of meetings but humans can catch up to only so much speed. It is difficult to keep up with the presentation while you’re writing down the useful points and keeping an open ear for more. Multi-tasking is not made for everyone which is why people often concentrate too much on jotting down and miss the critical parts of the conversation.
Some might just space out and only be physically present in the room. The human brain is easily distracted and, since information is the currency of the modern times, it is important to find a way that is reliable and does not get easily distracted during the high points of a meeting.
We are hinting at a solution that’s more than human.
Yes, they are a reality. And they are more intelligent than ever, making it all the more easy for you to focus on what you should do. Automatic note taking solutions are easy to deploy before meetings, simply with a click of a button. They sit with you throughout the meeting, listen to the discussion, and summarize the highlights for you to go over them later.
They give you the flexibility to involve yourself completely in the meeting without having to worry about losing vital details — marketing stats, important dates, reminders and alerts — and even deadlines for an upcoming assignment.
Well, that’s just the beginning. The possibilities to improve processes and deliver better are nearly endless with note taking solutions working in the backend.