Admission #1:  We flunked high school calculus.

[So maybe the teacher had an issue with our mouthing off.]

These days, though, it doesn’t pay to get snarky with math or its proponents.  Because in every hour of our work life, numbers come into play.

Colleagues in our sister industries have similar concerns, especially about media measurement.  That stalwart of our parents’ TV black boxes, Nielsen, recently publicized a solution – its new C7 rating would accommodate a week’s worth of views, the total time spent on different platforms (from Netflix to cable to YouTube), and the average audience size.  In partnership with Facebook, it also aims to deliver age and gender demographics for online video viewers.

Digging in deep, the questions still proliferate:

  • Will this account for the folks who (admission #2:  like us) save TiVO- and Roku-recorded content to replay AFTER a week?  Or those who binge-watch specific series and programs way after their debuts?
  • Will this drill down into audience profiles so we know the true value of what’s being sold and bought?
  • Finally (and probably most significant, in our eyes):  Will this C7 analyze attention – how intently people engage with content?

Hey, advertisers aren’t the only ones who yearn to get those kinds of scores.  Those of us practicing change inside companies haven’t yet figured out employee engagement with content – let alone with the corporation.

Or have we?


It’s been the subject of many SNL skits as well as Second City-like improvs.

Universal groans are heard when the topic comes up.

Parodies and typologies published in The Wall Street Journal and BloombergBusinessweek (among others) take the different personalities of meeting participants to task, whether their aim is sabotageor boredom relief.

It’s clear:  Nobody, but nobody likes a work meeting.  Ask researchers from the London School of Economics to Epson; most respondents have voted with their clicker:  At least 50 percent of all business get-togethers are wasted.

But we’re like John Wanamaker, head of the late eponymous Philadelphia department store, who cried about his advertising:  “I just don’t know which half works.”

Solutions are many, both serious and fun.  “Set a clear agenda” usually tops the list.  Another:  “Schedule a start and an end time – and stick to it.”  Others use a combination of carrot and stick to keep meetings on track, on time, on goal.

There are three remedies that, truth be told, work harder than any other tactic to drive results at group gatherings:

  1. Use a VERY loud alarm clock, set to stop disruptions and to end meetings.
  2. Don’t use chairs.  [You’ll be surprised how efficient your meetings become when folks are forced to stand.]
  3. Finally, track the number of meeting hours against individual, group, and business priorities.  See how well you can connect outcomes to time. 

Watch what happens when you start to measure:    We’ll bet you and your colleagues will be spending your work time just a bit differently.