All I Really Need to Know About Meetings I Learned in Kindergarten

By Sean Poston – The end of an exceptionally beautiful Iowa summer is swiftly approaching. In our home, both kids have begun to bemoan the end of mornings spent playing with their cousins, and afternoons in the pool. As much as they do not want summer to end, they are equally excited to go back to school.

Our oldest will be in second grade, so we are still relatively new to parenting. New enough that I regularly find myself in awe of how rapidly they learn and how eager they are to share those lessons with me. It is in those exchanges, I have been reminded that kindergarten is not just rote learning—it offers nuggets of wisdom that can stay with us into adult life.

Regrettably, the clarity of kindergarten wisdom can be obscured by the busyness of adult life. As happens with many organizations, the GreatAmerica team developed some collective bad habits. Meetings frequently ran long, which had a cascading effect on both the attendees in the meeting and those waiting for the room. Agendas were commonly absent, so attendees would show up unprepared and unaware of the facilitator’s expectations. Perhaps the most frustrating of all, because so many meetings were scheduled back-to-back with no passing time between, attendees often arrived late.


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