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Let's fantasize for a moment, courtesy of consultant Scott Eblin, who on his Next Level blog proposes every manager be given an annual "meeting budget."

Each year during budget planning, managers would have to negotiate for the total amount of salary expense of colleagues they call to meetings over the next 12 months. The kicker: When you use their entire budget, you're not allowed to call any more meetings unless you can negotiate an increase in your budget.

He uses an example in which you end up with about $50,000 worth of other managers' time for meetings during the year. You might spend it all in a one-day, offsite gathering for 150 managers, or you could disburse it slowly, with weekly two-hour meetings for 10 managers.

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But as Mr. Eblin stresses: "When your budget runs out, you can't call any more meetings for the rest of the year."

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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