Here’s the Matter With Meetings

Who: Beth Haggerty, president and CEO,


Sign of the Times: “I spend at least one day a week in nothing but meetings.”

There’s a lot about the Internet economy that’s new. One thing that’s not new is the proliferation of meetings. According to Beth Haggerty, 40, who runs an online marketplace that connects people with questions to people with answers, the only way to meet Internet-style deadlines is to be smart about meetings.

“I leave two days a week open just to do things — no meetings. That gives me the freedom to visit informally with people, to concentrate on problems, or to check out our competitors by surfing the Net. Freedom from meetings gets me ready for those days that are nothing but meetings.”

“For this system to work, you really need to stay disciplined. The more carefully I prepare for meetings that I do have, and the more closely I stick to an agenda, the better off everyone is. And I try not to move meetings that I’ve already scheduled. I’ve been in ‘busy’ places where meetings get rescheduled 20 times, and there’s no sense of follow-through.”FCS