7 Questions for Optimum Meetings
Despite the best of intentions and sound strategic planning, many organizational initiatives fail, not for lack of enthusiasm, but for lack of execution. Regularly scheduled, well-structured management meetings can often spell the difference between accomplishments and falling short of goals.
Meetings have a paradoxical reputation. Managers agree they are needed, yet some cringe at the very thought of “yet another meeting.” Meetings are an easy target for comedy and satire. If you’ve never seen John Cleese of Monty Python fame in the classic film “Meetings, Bloody Meetings” check it out on You Tube. More recently, Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book, "Death by Meeting" poked fun at meetings in general while offering some useful tips for improvement.
Sound meeting structure can make your management meetings effective and highly anticipated by the team. And they are essential to sharing information, discussing issues, ideas, and assignments in the direction of the strategic plan.
Here are seven questions to ask to help you get a handle on the effectiveness of your management meetings: (answer True or False).
- Our meetings are tightly focused with a detailed and timed agenda distributed sufficiently in advance to allow participants to prepare
- Participants show up to the meeting on time and fully prepared
- Key issues are discussed and recorded so that progress can be tracked from meeting to meeting
- Distractions are kept to a minimum (yes, that means no smart phones permitted!)
- The meeting begins and ends on time. More time is added (when necessary) only with the agreement, consensus, and permission of the entire team
- Only those who are necessary participate (those needing to be informed or to inform others; this is not a Tupperware Party!)
- Tasks are assigned, decisions reached, and action agreed upon and all are recorded in preparation for the next meeting
For more ideas and insights designed to help maximize your management meetings, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.