Tips for better meetings

Meetings are the bane of professional working life, its dead time, time spent not actioning important activity. 

I’ve observed a direct negative correlation with the number of recurring meetings a leader has and their effectiveness as a leader, the more recurring matins, the less effective.

Its not that meetings aren’t useful, rather they are inefficient unless some ground rules are established. This is tarnished by some leaders who feel that meetings and face time IS the objective, which may the case from time to time, but is certainly not the case all the time. 

So here are some rough guidelines for more effective meetings –

  1. All meetings need an agenda and a clear set of outcomes, you should have alignment before the meeting what the meeting is to discuss and what the goal outcome of the meeting should be. 
  2. Typically senior management will have a ‘board meeting’ this should recur weekly or monthly, and focus on strategic decisions and process – you would review the PnL and sales progress, review key people issues and key clients with an aim to resolve acute decisions
  3. Weekly management operations meeting should cover sales efforts, marketing efforts and client success efforts – the goal of this meeting is to get on top of efforts the get new business, efforts to renew existing business and efforts to prevent churn, both on a system level as well as on specific clients on a case-by-case basis.
  4. During recurring meetings there will be an urge to discuss and solve specific issues, recurring meetings should focus on updates and triage, have separate ‘acute’ meetings to resolve specific problems, this minimises the need for non-involved parties to be present for acute ‘issue resolution’ that doesn’t affect them – during recurring meetings one of the actions should be to agree which acute meetings need to be arranged. 
  5. Any meeting longer than 1 hour is ineffective.
  6. All hands meetings are typically for culture, use this as an opportunity to share news, provide a AMA fireside chat. Note, for AMA fireside chat, get most of the questions beforehand rather then letting people simply ask questions out of the blue, this will result in more meaningful questions being answered. 

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