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I spent a thoroughly thought-provoking couple of days last week at the first Spark the Change conference in the City of London. There were many varied takes on the way in which change is affecting organisations, and how to make it happen more effectively. The variety of thinking, from the bleeding edge of Holocracy to the 80 year old thinking of Dale Carnegie made for a stimulating event. You can even get a look at what I was talking about at http://stamplondon.co.uk/sparkconf

A couple of recurring memes appeared;

– change is constant and happening more than ever before in our complex world

– conventional business meetings are the devil incarnate.

Having time to cogitate over the weekend, a thought has occurred to me (based somewhat on a functionalist analysis of why meetings might be the beasts they are). Maybe the reason why meetings, particularly those routine, repeating, arduous, dull, life-sapping ones, exist is because in a world of constant change, they provide us with the illusion of continuity. We may hate the weekly project update, but it gives us an anchor. Some element of repeatability. Of predictability.

I’m not saying that they are productive or effective. But maybe their insidiousness is because they give us a comfort blanket in the face of complexity?

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