Chances are, you've noticed that many meetings are a tremendous waste of time. A few years ago, Microsoft did some research into this problem and found that people spend on average 5.6 hours each week in meetings, and that 71 percent of American employees reported that these meetings "aren't very productive."

When you multiply all the hours spent by employees around the world in meetings that "aren't very productive," it's easy to see that ineffective meetings are a huge problem for every business. Not only are they a waste of time and money, but they keep people from engaging in tasks that might be far more productive--and profitable for the businesses in which they work.

Leadership and innovation experts Kevin and Jackie Freiberg have a simple prescription for running remarkably effective meetings. These 16 habits might be simple, but make no mistake about it, they are extremely powerful. Give them a try and watch your meetings improve.

1. Email an agenda 24 hours in advance.

2. Arrive 5 minutes early.

3. Start and end on time.

4. Come prepared.

5. No smartphones.

6. Bring paper and pen.

7. Share all relevant data.

8. Stay on topic.

9. Be brief and concise.

10. No interrupting.

11. Silence = agreement.

12. No side conversations or comments.

13. Disagree without being disagreeable.

14. Everyone participates.

15. Challenge ideas rather than people.

16. Follow up by email within 24 hours.