5 ways to stop meaningless meetings
Are your meetings spontaneous, including everyone you can think of, with no agenda, no one in charge and no discernible actions? If so, you are wasting time and money.
Luckily, it doesn't need to be this way.
Here are the five things you need to do to get maximum value from every meeting:
1. Lock in a date, time and place - if the meeting is important, it probably didn't get thought up yesterday. Try to lock it in at least a month in advance and stick to the start time, not after 10 minutes of general chit chat and waiting for late arrivals. Set the expectation and stick to it.
2. Think about the invite list - don't waste people's time; invitees should be relevant to the agenda. Include all relevant decision makers and key advisers where appropriate (business adviser, lawyer, banker etc.) and advise others of any relevant actions afterwards. This will ensure that you can walk away from the meeting with meaningful actions to take your business forward, not half-baked ideas requiring further approval.
3. Set the agenda - circulate the agenda and any key reports and documents at least 48 hours before the meeting. This avoids time wasting and ensures all attendees are on the same page and given the chance to identify issues and add agenda items as necessary.
4. Take charge - always appoint a chairman and let them ensure the agenda is followed and conversation remains on topic. The meeting should be kept to the predetermined time slot, so if conversation goes off on a tangent, take it offline and move on.
5. Action list - your meeting will be useless if there are no actions resulting from it. Appoint someone at the start of the meeting to keep track of the actions and circulate after the meeting. This creates accountability and should highlight what is required, who is responsible and a deadline. People that consistently don't complete their actions might not be right for your business.
If the above points don't seem achievable, you should reconsider holding the meeting in the first place - you might be wasting everyone's time.
Often, simple steps can go a long way to improving your business. If you want help taking your business forward then get in touch today.
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