Magnificent Meetings

A recurring corporate frustration is the quality and quantity of meetings. Meetings can be the ultimate performance drag, or a powerful tool to drive high performance. If you want the latter, I have found three best practices to religiously adhere to:

1. The meeting objective:

A meeting can only have three objectives:

  • To make a decision
  • To brainstorm ideas
  • To drive project progress

Virtually all other subjects don’t need a meeting and should be addressed by more effective means.

2. The meeting choreography:

  • At the start:
    • What does success of this meeting look like?
  • At the end:
    • What are the decisions?
    • What are the actions? 
    • Who is responsible for the actions?
    • When will the actions be ready?
    • Who else needs to know what?

3. The meeting time:

Parkinson’s law of meetings tells us that the time of any meeting expands to fill the allotted meeting time. In other words, if you have planned a meeting for one hour, you will meet for one hour, even if you have met the meeting objectives before. Therefore, schedule all existing meetings in half of the time. The meeting outcome will be the same (or even better) and you save a lot of precious time.

Which of these ideas will finally make your meetings magnificent?

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/olm26250/

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