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How to Make Meetings Matter

They're a crucial part of the business process, but if your meetings are planned on autopilot, you're probably not sending the right message

Perry Klebahn has run a lot of companywide meetings since he took over as CEO of ailing bag company Timbuk2 in January, 2007. It's been a period of change, of difficult decisions, of executive departures, and he wanted to keep the 70 employees of the San Francisco company informed and engaged. But what he'd hoped would be an open forum for discussion turned into an awkward weekly event.

"People braced themselves for the meetings because they'd become a time to broadcast the latest changes," says Klebahn, who admits planning for the company meetings wasn't on his list of top priorities.