Clearstory, a startup in the San Francisco Bay Area focused on building communication tools for the construction industry, found internal meetings got more challenging as the company grew. Jim Lesko, the VP of Engineering, found there were some challenges that negatively affected the efficiency of their internal operations and began looking for ways to solve them.
A Two-Fold Problem
Jim found himself grappling with two challenges that affected his teams’ meeting efficiency and the department’s internal operations.
- A few participants talked most of the time, and some did not speak at all, despite having significant experience and ideas to contribute. Jim found it hard to facilitate meetings and encourage the quieter people to speak up. He also found that as a leader, he had a tendency to unknowingly talk too much, and wanted to ensure he didn’t drown out other voices in the room
- The process of keeping abreast of the outcomes of meetings was burdensome. Jim found himself trying to look at Jira tickets to understand what was discussed and piece together the take-aways from what people could later recall. A lot of important discussion points were lost or forgotten, leading to inefficiencies and frustration because they had to be discussed again later.
These two problems presented a significant barrier to effective communication and efficient operations for the Clearstory Engineering Department.
To address these two challenges, Jim introduced Equal Time into the Engineering Clearstory meeting processes. Equal Time provided data-backed analysis of the participants’ contributions in meetings, offering valuable insights into the dynamics of their discussions and allowing Jim to prompt those who did not speak as much in meetings to speak up.
It also allowed him to modulate his contributions based on the conversation flow. Additionally, the tool’s note-taking feature enabled automatic generation of meeting summaries, eliminating the need for Jim’s team to spend time on crafting detailed updates post-meeting.
Introducing Equal Time led to a profound positive impact for Jim and the Clearstory Engineering Department. With clear visibility into his own meeting behavior and the contributions of others, Jim was able to moderate his contributions and monitor the contributions of others, fostering a more balanced and inclusive environment for discussions. The automatic summaries provided by Equal Time provided Jim an easier way to get updates, saving him time in searching for the results of meeting conversations.
After 2 months of usage, Equal Time helped Clearstory surface more ideas from quieter employees, and remember them for later. It improved their meeting efficiency and enhanced employee satisfaction. This case study underscores the potential of Equal Time in refining meeting processes and fostering effective communication within organizations.