"If you've been playing poker for a half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy" - Warren Buffet
We've all spent time in large, recurring, intentionally important meetings. The type of meeting where you get together with other busy people to cross-functionally address some high priority project, issue, and/or other operational matters that the team deems critical to the business.
These meetings are typical in all organizations. And they always start out with the best intentions. The discussions usually are spirited and the focus is often intense - at least in the beginning. Then, repetition sets in. Agendas, attendees, issue, priorities, outcomes - each fall into a rut. And yet we keep going - week in, week out.
And then one meeting it hits you. You're sitting in the meeting and you can't figure out what the hell we're here to accomplish anymore. Why are we all here? What problem are we solving? What issues are we tackling? What big learning are people sharing? So you check email, slack, your phone, whatever. You pass the time, you go through the motions, nod at the issues, remain polite, maybe chime in with your own "status update". Best case scenario: the issues have all been solved. How many companies solve all their issues? The number I expect rounds to zero. How many companies constantly complain of being "resource constrained" - I expect all of them.
Important Meeting Rut (IMR) is a corollary to the quote above. If you're in a meeting for half an hour and you haven't figured out what the problem is, you've become the problem. Yep, you're the problem. Speak up. Focus the discussion. Learn. The fact you figured it out shifts the responsibility - to you.