I recently sat in on a product update meeting at a well-known training company. The head of the product team informed the staff of changes to one of the core products so they could educate the customers.
He convened a meeting with 35 staff members and recited every single change out loud. The monologue took 45 minutes. With 15 minutes left, he asked for questions.
No questions here.
Since this was the first time the staff had heard the information, they hadn’t had the opportunity to even think of relevant questions. Faced with the prospect of asking a question that might seem stupid, attendees sat silently instead. Feeling the vacuum and because they felt sorry for the speaker, a few asked some inane questions anyway.
Over thirty-five working hours later (!), the staff slunk away, back to their desks, and entire week’s worth of productivity shot.
Imagine another scenario using the Khan approach. What if the product manager recorded himself giving his presentation into a web cam, watching it afterwards to make sure it’s engaging. He then edits it and sends it out to the group. The group watches the video online, self paced, with the option to rewind or repeat if necessary. Two days later, have a Q&A session. Think it will be more productive?
Perhaps there was ten minutes of the content that was controversial, sensitive, or nuanced, stuff that actually needs to be discussed or debate. Well let’s have the meeting centered around those topics.
When invited to a memo meeting, decline to attend. Ask them to tape it and send you the video instead.