Making Meetings Work

If you work in a large organisation at a senior level, chances are that you will find yourself in a situation where you have to attend quite a few meetings.  Before you know it large chunks of your day disappear and you end up playing catch up.


I recently read in a blog post that meetings should have 3 purposes:


  1. To create action
  2. To improve action
  3. Eliminate action


The message was loud and clear.  All meetings should focus on moving forward.


So how do you make meetings work, so that they really create value?


Be clear about purpose


Why are you having a meeting at all?  Maybe it has just become a habit.  Go back and revisit the purpose of meetings.


Get the right people in the room


Basically that means people who have the authority to take decisions.


Get the right number of people in the room


In my experience many meetings just have too many people attending.  Less is best when it comes to the number of people in my experience.


Calculate cost and measure the return on investment


Do you know how much each meeting costs you?  Probably not as few organisations calculate the cost.  If they do they might not be measuring the return on investment.  By that I mean the actions arising should cover and exceed the cost of meeting.


Set an agenda and stick to it


You are meeting for a specific reason which should be linked to the purpose.  Stay on track and don’t get distracted.


Accept that sometimes meetings will have run their course


If you are just going through the motions it might be time to call it a day.  Doing so is of value to everyone.


What else would you add based on your own experiences?


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