Jobs and the Future of Work

Are morning meetings necessary?

Hiroshi Mikitani
CEO, Rakuten Inc
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In the early days of a business, it may seem unnecessary to hold official “meetings.” After all, everyone in the company may well be jammed into one room, one basement, one garage. Who needs a “meeting” if we are all here?

My advice: start your business with a tradition of holding a weekly morning meeting. It’s a habit that will serve you well as you grow.

Even when my company was made up of just two people, we still made time to come in early on Monday mornings for an official meeting.

Why? More often than not, failures at work occur when employees have little specific idea of what they should do. What should I do today and what should I do tomorrow? If you still fail after having absolutely decided these things, you can surmise that it was because your initial hypothesis about what you should be doing was wrong. If that’s the case, fixing the problem you are in is a simple matter of searching out why your hypothesis was wrong, revising it, and thinking about what you should be doing once again. Do this consistently, and you will eventually succeed.

Conversely, if you do not follow through with every step of this process, or if you are unsure of what exactly you should be doing today, you will definitely fail. This is true whether you are a company of two or 2 million.

Today at Rakuten, we have our weekly meeting every Tuesday morning and broadcast it to all employees around the world. This helps to keep us on the same page, aiming toward the same goals.

Making sure to have a weekly morning meeting creates an opportunity to introduce concreteness into every single day. We can be lazy creatures who, if given the opportunity, will goof off. This is just as true for me as it is for anyone. To keep us focused on the job, we must instill in ourselves a firm desire to complete the day’s work. And this is why we have morning meetings.

This article is published in collaboration with LinkedIn. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Hiroshi Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten Inc.

Image: Image: An empty meeting room.

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Jobs and the Future of WorkBusiness
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