Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Meetings Count

There is nothing I abhor more than a meeting with no point or no conclusion by way of future action points.  Often times "meetings" use up valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere.

Here are a few of my ideas about how to have a better quality meeting -
  1. Agendas - are for guidance only.  A meeting should not be held to ransom by the agenda.  Ticking boxes or agenda items off for the sake of process is a waste of time.
  2. So - try starting with a blank agenda.  Canvas the ideas and issues that are fresh in peoples minds first and deal with those.  5 to 10 minutes per issue. No more than that.  At the end of 10 minutes there should be clear points of responsibility and actions to be taken.
  3. Brainstorm with post it notes and blank paper.  Write up the big points of the meeting onto blank sheets of paper and hang them on the wall.  Then meeting attendees can note down their thoughts on any of the points and put their post it on the wall.  This then adds their thoughts and voice to the discussion.  This is particularly helpful for quieter people or if someone misses their chance to speak.
What strategies do you use to improve your meetings?  Here are a few links with some further great ideas for
you to use -

http://www.43folders.com/2006/02/21/meetings, http://www.delalbright.com/Facilitation/meetings.htm, and my personal favorite - http://www.bnet.com/article/how-to-run-an-effective-meeting/61211

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