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5 Questions with Lee Pichette

Does your company waste time in unproductive meetings? You should setup a time to chat with local entrepreneur and all-around nice guy, Lee Pichette. He is helping teams transform how they host meetings with his new company, MeetingHabits.

Q: Why did you start MeetingHabits?

It’s one of those classic stories of someone developing a product they needed because it didn’t

already exist. As I became more aware of how much time my teams wasted in unproductive

meetings, I looked around to see if there was “an app for that”. I found countless articles about

the massive amount of time wasted, but I couldn’t find a product that would work. That piqued

my curiosity and I started to dig deeper into the problem.

Q: How big is the problem?

It’s big and expensive. Research shows employees waste up to 31 hours a month in

unproductive meetings. That means many mid-sized companies are wasting 14,000 - 140,000

hours a year. If the average employee at a 500 person company cuts 1 hour per week, that can

save a million dollars a year.

There is a meeting cost calculator on our website and the results can be staggering.

That said, it’s not just about saving time and money. It’s ultimately about fostering a culture of

productivity that enables teams to move faster than their competition.

Leaders often wish they were doing more to improve morale and create a better workplace.

However, it’s tough to develop and follow through with home-grown improvement initiatives.

MeetingHabits is an easy and effective way to invest in their team and improve something that

employees already cite as a source of frustration.

Q: How does it work?

As I interviewed potential users and clients I uncovered one universal root cause for bad

meetings – bad habits. To be specific, it’s a combination of individual habits and organizational

habits. That led me to develop a user experience that is based on the vast amount of scientific

research on changing other habits, like eating habits or exercise habits.

MeetingHabits makes it easy for teams to improve productivity in three ways. (1) We analyze a

client’s meeting data and gather insights from employees. This defines the problem and

highlights specific improvement opportunities. (2) We help teams adopt a new “meeting habit”

each month, showing them ways to schedule shorter meetings or invite fewer people. This drip approach ensures the new habits stick. (3) We send data-driven progress reports that track each employee’s meeting metrics. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

As a result, employees ultimately start thinking about their time differently. This creates a

culture of productivity that helps them move faster than the competition.

Summer Infant, with around 100 employees at their headquarter office in RI, was our first client and has been using the beta product since September. Their employees have appreciated the lightweight approach and their leadership team is already seeing positive results. I’m thrilled to be launching the full product after incorporating 6 months of user feedback.

Q: What do you think about starting this in Providence?

I’ve worked at startups outside of Boston and in Providence. I’d much rather be in a lower cost

location with a supportive tech community. My last two employers in Providence, ShapeUp

and Andera, were acquired by major players in their respective industries. So, I’ve helped other

startups successfully grow here and am confident I’ll be able to do the same with

MeetingHabits.

And from a lifestyle perspective, I think Providence is the cooler city with a much higher quality

of life. Who wouldn’t prefer an 8-minute drive to work?

Q: I love the idea of killing unproductive meetings. How can we help?

At this stage, it’s very important for me to be meeting with local companies who have interest

in improving meetings, moving faster, or creating a better workplace. I’m hoping some of your

readers will reach out and want to give a local company a chance!

You can contact Lee at lee@meetinghabits.com or schedule time on his calendar directly at www.meetinghabits.com/#schedule

Brought to you by Founders League, a coworking community that supports entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers in and around Providence, RI.

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