Sir Alan, God bless his little fungus face, is perfectly correct in his assumption:
“A meeting has gone on for too long the moment you have created a list of other participants arranged in order of which you’d like to see them killed.”
His seminal paper goes on to state:
“You have crossed the Meeting Room Event Horizon once this list also includes the manner of their deaths suitably illustrated with action points on the disposal of their still-twitching corpses.”
The precise time you reach either of these points can be obtained from the equation:
t = (NB)/QP
Where t = time before the first death
N = net number of participants, comprising the number of office staff to the power of number of managers present
B = Buzzword Bingo quotient
Q = IQ of the loudest, most opinionated participant
P = the number of PowerPoint slides to be viewed
It is worth noting from this formula that once Participant Q has been culled, the length of time before the next death actually increases. Savvy managers will therefore go into a meeting planning an early death, allowing other staff to go home early.
The average value for t in these circumstances is 37 seconds.
If not Participant Q is readily identified, the first victim may be selected either through the time-honoured, scientifically proven method of “Ip Dip Dog Shit”, or by dragging out the one person who looks like he is making notes but is, in truth, writing out a post for his blog.
In the actual, not-made-up-at-all words of business guru Sir Alan himself: "All meetings should involve the possibility of random, painful death based on this formula. Keeps ’em short. Keeps ’em loyal. Keeps the snivelling bastards on their toes.
“By the way, you’re fired.”