Our CEO, Jason Martin, hates long meetings. It’s understandable. Never have we met a person who enjoys a long meeting. Meetings should be concise, helpful, and focused. They shouldn’t detract from the workflow of the working day, or segway into lengthy discussions about the minutiae of daily life.
Most people have meetings at least once a week, if not daily, and they can often get bogged down with the inconsequential details or mentions of projects not covered in the current meeting agenda. This is where the magic of the parking lot comes into play.
Trying to stay on time, let alone focusing on the task at hand, is challenging, especially when people are trying to bring everything to the table at once. The Parking Lot is a place in which we park ideas that have worth, but shouldn’t be addressed during the meeting. Considering the limited time involved in a meeting, as well as the core principle of respecting the meeting’s agenda, if things get off-topic, or long-winded, you have to have to the option to park the discursive element and move on.
Keeping a parking lot is more of an abstract concept, but you can create a physical or virtual location to park your ideas if that’s something your company could find useful. Dropboxes, shared documents, or physical spaces in which to address these ideas are all great tools to keep your meetings on track, and keep your ideas moving forward despite time and concentration limits.
The Parking Lot you build together is a great way to churn out new ideas, keep updated on how projects are moving along, track proposals, and offer people the chance to address what they feel is important. Not everybody gets a parking spot in this lifetime, but you all have a place in the Parking Lot.