The idea of 'causes and effects' is easier to understand in the form of a diagram. A simple analysis is represented below. The problems listed on the left can be thought of as being causes of the 'core problem' and that core problem can be considered as having the effects listed on the right of the diagram.
The major contributing factors to inefficient meetings (excluding for the moment, the issue of "human behavior") are:
The previous cause effect diagram shows a list of effects. These effects can themselves have "knock-on" effects. The diagram below shows some possible "second level" effects. They are; non-optimum decisions, dissatisfied staff, low operating efficiency, poor company performance. The reasoning is, if we wish to avoid the consequences just listed we should "trace back" the cause - effect chain and apply "curative measures" to the root causes. In the case used in this example the "cure" is to improve the efficiency of meetings.