How to Lead Profitable Meetings
|This is where you are, but…||THIS is where you WANT to be…|
Unsuccessful and unproductive meetings are a waste of your organization’s valuable time and resources. Creating a productive and goal-oriented environment for your business or executive meetings is singularly one of the most valuable tools you can implement for your organization.
Successful leaders, executives and managers stay focused on how they can stay on course and continue to execute on the strategic & business Plan. Therefore, roughly 10-20% of time spent in meetings should be dedicated to looking at your strategic plan, business plan, vision, mission statement, or core values and discussing with participants how you and they intend to apply these principles so they positively impact everyone’s decisions, actions, statements and behaviors. At first this WILL seem cumbersome. But it is the only way to stay “on-course.” most executives and managers are ACTION oriented and believe the fire directly in front of them is of most importance. (If this belief is plaguing you and/or your executive or management team, you are fighting a losing battle and you know it). Get ahead of the curve and you will be able to lead proactively rather than reactively. A great fist step in this process is to make the most of everyone’s time and improving meeting productivity is usually where you will find the lowest hanging and sweetest fruit.
If you have tried these or similar (conferences, books, coaching, etc) steps before with limited results, you don’t have a meeting process problem you have a people, conflict or cultural issue. In that case, please contact me so we can dig a little deeper into the real problems and partner on finding solutions to these and not get sidetracked with superficial symptoms. Kelly@InternalBusinessSolutions.com
For a more exhaustive list regarding meetings, please go to http://www.internalbusinesssolutions.com/advanced-productive-business-meetings-protocol/?preview=true&preview_id=1318&preview_nonce=1fd9c6970a
Purpose of the meeting?
- What is purpose or outcome you intend this meeting to produce; the end-result? The purpose should state why the meeting is needed.
- Discuss clear objectives/challenges. Come prepared with all relevant information or better yet, email it prior to the meeting so people can have time to prepare (discussed at the bottom of this paper titled Pre-meeting assignments).
- Discuss possible options
- The group or leader (depending on your executive culture) decide on the best option given time and resources
- One person is given the task to carry out the functions and is 100% accountable for its completion in the given time frame provided. Special note: all executives are responsible for its success, but this one person is 100% accountable.
- A clear date and time will be given as to its final completion. If multiple stages are required, then milestone dates and times will be provided and met.
- Desired outcomes?
- Outcomes focus the meeting by indicating what information is to be shared and what decisions or actions need to occur.
- A clear and concise agenda preferably sent at least 24 hours prior to meeting.
Active Facilitation Strategies
Set ground rules so people know how to behave. It keeps the meeting focused. Example:
- Start & stop on time
- All participate. The facilitator should invite the quieter members to participate
- Challenge ideas instead of people
- One conversation at a time. Don’t speak over people
- We finish with a recap of who will complete what by when.
Meetings are the biggest wasters of time in all organizations. Therefore, having participants prepared ahead of time and ready to discuss topics will ensure efficiency and productive decision making. Pre-meeting assignments are tasks done by participants in advance of the meeting. If you assign them abide by these rules:
- Explain why it is important
- Give adequate lead time
- Provide clear instructions (i.e., read and be ready to discuss, analyze, or provide us with a synopsis of this topic etc)
- Assign only if you intend to use it and then fully leverage the time and material