Make meetings count #2

Meetings. We spend hours in them. We invite too many people. We don’t invite the right people. We fail to question whether a standing meeting has outlived its function, or whether a new standing meeting really needs to be born. We confuse throwing people in a room with running a productive meeting.

ACEEE retreat 033A few years ago, I spent a good chunk of time in a meeting with Andy Goodman. He was leading a session on the power of storytelling at the AMA Nonprofit Marketing Conference. The meeting included role-playing, speed-questions, and public humiliation in the interest of good causes. It was a GREAT session.

Granted, Andy had the advantage of a fun topic. It may seem impossible to turn a Tuesday budget update meeting into a compelling session. You know what, though? You have to try. To help you, Andy just put out his version of five questions for better meetings. Many of these questions may seem better suited to a conference session, or a project kick-off meeting. There is a point in question number 1, however, that bears repeating:

“a carefully prepared agenda is circulated in advance and feedback is solicited to ensure that everyone’s time will be well spent.”

Your challenge: Pick an upcoming meeting, and really think about what it should do for you. Draw up that agenda. Circulate it. Take the comments to heart, and have a great meeting.