Zealous Puritan Oliver Cromwell, ruthless dictator and lord protector of England in the 17th century, sure knew how to minimize meetings.
As one popular legend goes, he once issued an edict that, to curtail the savage practices of some of his troops—including rape, looting and murder—a new procedure would be enacted. The offending soldier and his entire company would assemble beneath a gallows and hold a meeting, which basically consisted of rolling dice. Everyone would participate. The man who lost would be hanged.
This doomed soldier would not necessarily have instigated the crimes in question but was simply the guy who lost at dice.
Bottom line: fewer crimes, fewer hangings and fewer meetings.
— Adapted from How to Run a Successful Meeting in Half the Time, Milo Frank, Simon and Schuster.