AI's Role in Redefining Meetings
From summarizing to feedback: AI's approach to efficient meetings
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Whenever I have some time, I check for AI Tools, and the list is getting….long. But there is still room for more tools! If you know of an AI Tool or if you are building one, submit it here:
Other than that, I think it’s time to jump in on today’s article about the use of AI in meetings.
Let’s get to it.
The average professional is anchored in a sea of thirteen (13!) weekly meetings, dedicating around 12 hours, prep time included, to these (hopefully) collaborative ventures.
That's a significant chunk of our work life, often leaving us to think, "Could this meeting have been an email?" (We have all been there…)
Now, let's ground ourselves with more data: Atlassian's 2019 survey highlighted the enormity of time invested in meetings—55 million of them each week in the US, to be precise, consuming 24 billion hours annually.
Forbes didn't shy away from underlining the productivity paradox either, pointing out that half of the 31 hours employees spend in meetings each month could be deemed unproductive.
In short - if we can improve our meetings by 10-20%, there’s a huge upside.
Tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google are embedding AI to elevate the meeting experience from mere note-taking to capturing the essence through summaries and actionable insights.
They don’t come with a grandiose promise to abolish meetings but with a pragmatic approach to make them more meaningful.
By refining note-taking and summarization capabilities, AI ensures that missing a meeting doesn't mean missing out. Or if you skip a meeting, you can easily get caught up in what was said and what action points were decided on.
I also love the fact that AI can act as a meeting coach. Imagine having a tool that documents what was said and offers insights into how the meeting could have been better.
This isn't about nitpicking every "um" and "ah" but understanding successful meetings' dynamics—engagement, clarity, and decisiveness—and learning how to replicate them.
As we navigate this evolving landscape, the question isn't if AI can save us from the meeting glut but how to leverage AI to transform meetings into opportunities for true collaboration and productivity. It's about striking a balance between embracing AI's capabilities and maintaining the human touch that brings meetings to life.
The goal here is not to chase an AI-driven utopia where meetings are obsolete but to foster an environment where meetings are streamlined, purposeful, and, above all, valuable.
”Ok, Mr Baldman-who-loves-AI, I understand that AI could help in meetings, but what can I do about this? IT handles our meeting tool.”
Well, I argue that these tools should be tools in your toolbox, not only sit with IT.
So if IT handles your meeting tools, pop your head into them (or book a meeting…) and start (or even demand!) that you start to implement AI-powered meeting tools.
Tools are just tools, but I also suggest you start to train people on effective meeting practices after you have had AI transcribe a couple of meetings. Utilize the feedback loop from AI. What are common pitfalls in your organization? Then, offer training sessions on using your meeting tools effectively, focusing on distinguishing between email-worthy updates and meeting-necessary discussions.
It’s also a great way to start promoting AI feedback mechanisms. Introduce AI-based feedback for meetings to guide employees in structuring meetings more productively, using AI to analyze and suggest improvements.
What if our meetings are happening offline? Well, then have someone record it and use the same principles as above.
Imagine if we could save 10-20% of people’s time - imagine what we could do instead.
That’s it for today, see you next week!