Bob is a hugely successful businessman.
Bob has a neat trick.
Before he hires anyone, the first thing Bob does is take the person out to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Bob slips the maî·tre d’ a few twenties, to make sure the waiter gets some of the orders wrong.
Bob wants to see how the person treats the waiter in less than ideal circumstances.
You can tell a lot about a person, by how they treat the waitstaff when things go wrong, Bob reckons.
Ergo, if the individual acts like a jerk to the waiter or loses their composure over something as trivial as a restaurant food order, Bob doesn’t need them in his business. But if they handle the situation with wit and grace, that’s a good sign. Easy peasy.
It’s a nice little story, it reminds us of how a few little things can tell a lot of big things about a person, or an organization.
The same is true with meetings. You can tell a lot about business culture, by how meetings are held. Are they short and to the point? Or are they endless, boring and suicide-inducing? Are they friendly and helpful, or are they a den of vipers? Are they productive, or are they just a lot of people spinning their wheels?
With that in mind, HBR suggests that “To Build an Inclusive Culture, Start with Inclusive Meetings”. Worth a look.