Run A Meeting Like Google


Some outside reading…

BusinessWeek just ran an article on how to run meetings like Marissa Mayer, VP of search products at Google.

She has six main ideas:

  1. Set a Firm Agenda
  2. Assign a Note Taker
  3. Carve Out Micro-Meetings
  4. Hold Office Hours
  5. Discourage Politics, Use Data
  6. Stick To The Clock

Take a couple minutes to read it, then take a look at our earlier article on making meetings 60% more effective.

Our Thoughts

Marissa provides advice that falls in one of two buckets – tactical and strategic.  Tactically, she suggests we manage our agendas and schedules (1,2,6).  Strategically, she proposes that we get creative with the schedule, and focus on the topics at hand.  Office hours is an interesting idea – relieving the pressure to find the time for initial conversations and quick meetings (approvals, etc).  Micro-meetings help with efficient use of other people’s time.

6 thoughts on “Run A Meeting Like Google

  1. At Sun, we’re looking at trying to implement some weekly “experimental” techniques when it comes to meetings. A “no-meeting” Friday has been suggested for example. Another example is the use of a scheduling tool such as Doodle. A third idea is to target to end the meeting 10 minutes before the hour (allowing for some time between meetings.)

    Micro-meetings and Office Hours are interesting ideas. Can those be expanded upon? (Well…since this thread is 2.5 years old, maybe not… ;-) )

  2. Hey again,Yvette. Of course we can keep the conversation going. My labrador, Scout, is older than this thread, and I sometimes wonder if he’ll ever slow down.

    Micro-meetings also presents an interesting way to adapt to change. If, for some reason, the meeting (block) has to start late, you don’t have to try and “compress everything”, or arbitrarily drop whatever is last, you can cut whatever from the schedule. The ‘office hours’ idea is not dissimilar, and it seems to make sense when optimizing for one person’s (Mayer’s) time, as it is hyper efficient; but at the expense of the other people’s time. I do also really like the idea of it being easier to grab 10 minutes today than 30 minutes two weeks from now. I think this would break down for meetings of peers.

    Doodle looks interesting, but I’m not groking how it would improve the meeting.

  3. Hi Scott,
    Thanks for not giving up on this old thread! And I’m very familiar with dogs that don’t slow down. My shetland sheepdog, Chloe, is 6 years old, but still acts like a hyper puppy.

    Doodle is good for meeting scheduling. We spend way too much time trying to coordinate meeting schedules that will work for everyone. Because there is no standardization of calendar systems, Doodle is a good solution.

    Thanks for giving more insights into micro-meetings and office hours!

    1. You might also want to take a look at It is a very early beta of new software that lets people share publicly see they are busy (aggregating time commitments from multiple sources/systems). I believe one of the goals of is for people to be able to see when anyone (or everyone) can be available for a meeting. This is an early venture from one of my clients – definitely early days as of this comment, but what they need are “real people” like you to help drive the prioritization of new features.

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