In the past few weeks I've been traveling a ton. We're building a closer business partnership with another agency and I've found that literally "being there" is critically important to growing a trusting relationship. Dialing into a conference call just doesn't cut it. But the cost is high - being out of the office, away from the family, and racking up the expense account all take a toll. So before each trip I think hard about whether or not it is necessary.
And a few months back I blogged about a tool that tracks the cost of meeting time. Now, Seth Godin brings up an interesting take on how the "fuel crisis" might force better meetings. At some point, the airlines are going to have to pass expensive fuel prices along to its customers in the form of much higher airfares. As a result, there will be more pressure on the decision to travel. As Godin says:
"I think the standard for a great meeting or a terrific conference has changed. In other words, 'I flew all the way here for this?' is going to be far more common than it used to be."
Godin predicts that the challenge of more costly business travel will lead to pressure to make these trips more worth the effort. Challenge may lead to improvement.
I think it's smart thinking and clearly in line with the Challenge Dividend. I think it's a little bit of a stretch to say that companies will really feel the pressure (or just pass the costs along to clients and customers). But I think we can all agree that driving more effective meetings is a challenge worth taking on.