Meetings, Meetings, Meetings

This entry comes courtesy John O'Leary, long-time Tom Peters Company facilitator:

Everyone gripes about meetings. If you live in the corporate world—and especially if you work in management—there may be nothing ELSE to your workday. Even lunch takes place over a meeting. But are meetings inherently a problem or just meetings that don't produce results? Or run on forever? Or are insufferably boring? (How many meetings do you attend that qualify as "rat hole" excavations?)

It seems to me that the currency of work is conversation—in person, telephonic, electronic—and we're all trying to manage this conversation. Meetings are an attempt at a structured form of live conversation. If so, how they're set up and conducted can make all the difference. And given the resources tied up in meetings, they should produce results. How are meetings in YOUR business conducted? Any lessons learned? Any tips to pass on?