One of the complaints I hear again and again from most people in business is the amount of time that they waste each and every day in business meetings.

These are meetings where the truth is never told, where decisions are never made and where everyone plays along until the meeting ends so they can rush off to their next meeting.

It’s a very rare business meeting where one finds that there’s not an elephant lurking in the room.

My own experience has been that in nearly every business meeting the room is so full of elephants that there seems hardly enough room for those in the meeting. And, what’s more, the elephants are all naked!!

I’m planning to shortly publish an article called Elephant Spotting: The Art and Science of Spotting Elephants in the Room

DFQ:  In your next meeting, instead of paying attention to the ‘Agenda’,  you can see if you can find how many elephants there are in the room.

9 thoughts on “A room full of naked elephants …

  1. The fact is everyone would like to show off thier intellectual know how while no one is ever ready to listen to his brother by so doing the pronlem is not solve and time is wasted

  2. often the meeting is just a formulae
    so it can appear that people have been consulted and collective decisions made
    also to see if people are onside
    will follow the lead and not create waves

  3. The art of being a good chairman ( the word derives from the French and means chair manager not chair man -so that’s got rid of the sexist elephant ) is to frame up the meeting from the outset to get rid of hidden agendas and to engender a climate where people can talk freely in the spirit of a critique ( similar to a sitrep (situation report) in the Long Tan Film just finished ) and then work out what to do for the good of the organization.

    Meetings are about the good of an organization – not politics, not peoples ambitions etc they need to set out from the outset to do what is good for an organization – it is up to the chair manager to set the tone and keep it on track – an agenda if used properly will cut time dramatically especially if draft resolutions are included and the chair manager asks if anyone wants to speak against the motion – if not it should be put and the meeting should move on – so much time is wasted talking about things that everyone agrees on – putting the most pressing things first and discussing them fully or even changing the agenda to discuss important matters first is also a time cutter – but once again this should be up to the chair manager to keep it moving and to complete and achieve outcomes!

    Chair management should be a course for study at every business school!

  4. I have long wondered what it was that easily distracts thought from business at hand. Thanks for explaining that it is naked elephants. Perhaps we can lead our groups to count the elephants first and then get to the needs at hand. Happy elephant counting!

  5. As a new Area Governor in Toastmasters I have found it interesting to note how some club officers get through the roles and activities in minutes with rewarding and dynamic outcomes, while others seem more like blundering blithering idiots offering up little more than waffle and spend an hour or much longer achieving nothing of value to anyone.
    I look forward to your article being that I may be one of the naked Elephants.

  6. Ah, but just as in the story of the emperor with no clothes, who – like the undeceived little boy – would call attention to the presence of the elephant, and those who are feeding it???

  7. lets us put on some pants on the elephants. They all are naked because they lack focus and courage to address the real problems of their business. The elephants fall into politics and group thinking because they do not know how to think and work X10 to transform their CVS.

    Please, send me a copy of the article as soon as it is ready.

  8. Looking forward to the articles on Elephant Spotting.

    It seems to me that if we know how to spot these elephants in meetings, it would also help spotting the hidden agendas in national and international policies and practices.

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