Stand-Up Meetings

The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise of stand-up meetings:

Atomic Object, a Grand Rapids, Mich., software-development firm, holds company meetings first thing in the morning.

Employees follow strict rules: Attendance is mandatory, nonwork chitchat is kept to a minimum and, above all, everyone has to stand up.

Stand-up meetings are part of a fast-moving tech culture in which sitting has become synonymous with sloth. The object is to eliminate long-winded confabs where participants pontificate or tune out. Francesca Donner has details on Lunch Break.

Stand-up meetings are part of a fast-moving tech culture in which sitting has become synonymous with sloth. The object is to eliminate long-winded confabs where participants pontificate, play Angry Birds on their cellphones or tune out.

Atomic Object even frowns upon tables during meetings. “They make it too easy to lean or rest laptops,” explains Michael Marsiglia, vice president. At the end of the meetings, which rarely last more than five minutes, employees typically do a quick stretch and then “go on with their day,” he says.

For meetings of five to 10 minutes, I’m all for stand-up meetings. But for longer meetings, I’m less optimistic. Personally, I like sitting down with pen, paper, and appropriate devices – to listen, to think, to collaborate. Standing up all the time inhibits this.

Net-net: stand-up meetings have a place to enable communication, simplify quick collaboration, and shorten meetings. But they are just one form of an appropriate meeting.

What’s your experience with stand-up meetings?

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