Recently our son, Chris, sent me a link to an article pointing out what a major waste of time meetings are in many organizations. Chris is 26 years old and getting ready to go on someone else’s payroll. In a few months he finishes law school and starts his articling position with a law firm here in Waterloo Region (we’re 60 miles west of Toronto.)

He sent me the meeting article link with this comment:

“Again, there is another shift going on. Basically, my generation is saying to your generation: ‘if you bore us, we will ignore you.’ I am noticing that my generation has very little patience for time-wasting and we have short attention spans.”

Chris and his cohorts grew up in a hyper-connected world full of technology and fragmented attention spans. His message underscores a key leadership challenge; engaging younger workers and harnessing their high energy and shorter attention spans.

The article Chris referenced showed that participants “zone out” when meetings wander off track. And many meetings get very badly off track! A major and long standing pet peeve of mine is the incredible waste of time that’s blandly accepted as inevitable by so many managers. I am rooting for impatient younger workers to push their managers into sharply improving meeting effectiveness.