Last week’s blog on Engage Younger Workers or Bore and Lose Them got me thinking further about how meetings most clearly showcase the organizational or even division/department’s mini-culture. I was running a two-day offsite planning retreat recently where the disconnect between the culture the leadership team wanted to build and their group behavior was huge. One of the research and writing projects on my long term list is to explore this connection much further.

Here are a few examples of the link between meeting behavior and organizational culture:

Meeting Behavior Organization/Department Culture
Potshots, “humorous” zingers, and putdowns often Turf protecting and silos
Meetings rarely start and stop on time People feel overloaded and overwhelmed by constant urgencies and crisis
No agendas or prioritizing of agenda items Goals and priorities are unclear and conflicting
Participants deal with their e-mail, take phone calls, and wander in and out of meetings Respect and engagement/morale levels slip and many people don’t feel valued or that their opinions matter.
Participants cut each other off and engage in side conversations Low trust and cooperation levels

If you’re interested in the connections between management team behavior and culture here are some further links to follow: