Instead, put five minutes at the start of the meeting for socializing and catching up. "When you put it on the agenda as something that has an end time, with a timekeeper who’s in charge of saying we’re done with that, it definitely keeps it bounded," says Boudett. But more importantly, getting to know your fellow meeting goers has an upside. "We saw that people might have a misconception that to have an efficient meeting, it needs to be all business," says Boudett, when in reality, good decisions require trusting each other.
As her colleague Meghan Lockwood puts it, "We’re asking people to open up their practices to one another, to push each other to improve, and that just can’t happen without trust." In other words, letting people share something about their lives "is an incredibly efficient use of time."