Effective Business Meetings: Different Strokes for Different Folks
Written by Renée Safrata - email@example.com, January 12th, 2012
In a recent blog-post, I discussed the importance of creating different types of business meetings to improve team productivity and results. A proper structuring of meetings – some for strategic and other for tactical initiatives – results in individuals having an understanding of meeting expectations, topics for discussion, parties involved, expectations and how to prepare properly. Without agreement and buy-in for proper meeting structures and norms, meetings can start to become very costly time wasters and productivity drainers.
Have you been in a meeting recently wondering why you are there? Have you looked around the room wondering why others are there? If you have, your team is suffering from ineffective meeting structures.
I recently received this email from a client:
I just came out of a meeting that had been set up for five of us to discuss two points in a contract. What could have been a 2-minute discussion between two key players turned into something much longer and more complicated.
Generally, contracts are negotiated by one manager and one employee. Once our lawyer’s consulted, the manager comes to me for final approval on the deal and then relays the deal points to the employee assigned to the contract.
In this case, five people were involved, none of whom had clarity on the results required. To further complicate things, this particular contract was long overdue.
It appears our team is starting to operate as a “decisions by committee”, hence stalling a formerly effective process. I’d like to know why this is happening and what we can do to resolve it.
What can you do if you are in my clients shoes?
Consider the types of meetings your team needs to engage in on a regular basis.
- Daily or Weekly Huddles for quick statements of activity; ie: working on, stuck-points, and recent successes. These short meetings increase shared information and accountability,
- Weekly Meetings between managers and direct reports. Discuss the tactics of the week, focus on expectations and celebrate results,
- Monthly Team Meetings a more robust meeting with the full team discussing strategic initiative results and measures, reporting on tactical initiatives and discussing areas that require full team decision-making,
- Quarterly Strategic Meetings an opportunity to more thoroughly dive into reviewing the strategic initiatives. Leave the tactics behind for this one, stay focused on the big picture by working on the business not in the business.
- Plan who needs to be at each meeting, how long the meeting will be and the agenda items to cover. Then, schedule meetings for the next 90-days. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
If you need more information on meeting agendas for each one of the meeting types above, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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