“Our organization’s board meets from 3 to 5 pm the second Wednesday of the month- it is tradition.”
Some sacred cows are hard to change. Customs passed down from one group to the next. Athletes know that if they do the same workout every time they will get a similar results but not improve. That is why they add interval training where they increase the exertion over a period of time and then allow for some recovery before repeating. The next workout might be a distance workout which lasts five times longer than the interval workout but the intensity is much lower. Variety allows for expanded capacity.
What if your organization’s next board or staff was half as long? How would that alter the agenda? What would you email to the participants in advance of the meeting? Speaking of participants, how would they receive a meeting that ran half as long?
Try it for one or two meetings and see the results. If this idea appears too radical, try it at the committee level first. Seth Godin had a great post on this very concept for business. His challenge was delivered with conviction.