Meetings. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re an inevitable part of work life. But let’s be honest – some meetings feel like a waste of time. You sit through endless status updates or discussions that don’t really concern you. And as soon as the meeting ends, you’ve forgotten 90% of what was said.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. But what if there was a better way to share information across teams? One that didn’t require gathering everyone in a conference room for an hour?
Enter “Watch and Learn” – a new approach to meetings in the digital age.
What is a Watch and Learn?
A Watch and Learn is a pre-recorded video that covers the information normally shared in a status meeting. Things like:
- Project updates
- Key results and metrics
Team leaders film a quick 3-5 minute video recapping everything their team has been working on. The video gets shared out prior to when the meeting would have taken place.
Recipients can watch it on their own time, refer back to it later, or even speed up parts that don’t pertain to them.
Why Send a Watch and Learn?
Watch and Learns offer a few key benefits:
Saves time – No more sitting through 30-60 minute meetings when only 5 minutes is relevant to you. Get back all that lost time in your day.
Avoids repetition – Don’t make leaders repeat the same update 4 times to different groups. Record it once and share with everyone at once.
Increases retention – People retain information better when they can consume it on their own terms, rewinding and re-listening as needed.
Enables collaboration – Recipients can forward relevant sections to colleagues or leave comments with feedback.
Scales knowledge sharing – Updates get distributed across the company so everyone has visibility.
Creates documentation – Updates are now documented and searchable instead of disappearing into the ether after a meeting.
Who is Doing This Well?
More and more forward-thinking companies are adopting Watch and Learns:
- Microsoft – Calls them “Compressed Conversations”
- Asana – Rolled out Async Meetings during COVID as teams went remote
- HubSpot – Leaders share weekly updates through “Reflections”
The benefits are clear. Rather than default to a meeting, ask yourself – could this be a Watch and Learn instead? Give it a try and see if it creates more value for your team.
So next time you find yourself stuck in a status update that has nothing to do with you, remember – you could have just watched and learned instead.