Consulting Essentials - Meeting Management
I don’t know about you but the biggest frustration that I have had with every client, without exception, from day 1 is everyone’s obsession with meetings. I find clients who literally spend all day, every day in meetings. It’s almost impossible to get a slot in their diaries, unless you can do some fast talking with their Administration Assistants! I wonder when they actually find the time to get anything done!
So guess what’s one of the first things that I change when starting with a new client? Yes, that’s right….their Meeting Management. And here is a simple 10 step strategy to get you started:
- Invite your project team to a meeting about meetings! Include with the invitation the objectives of the session, a timed agenda and where the location will be. I suggest you hold it in an open office space with a flipchart. Ask the team to think about their contributions in advance.
- Run the meeting exactly as planned – start on time, follow the agenda and finish on time. Have the main agenda item as a review of what works well with meetings in the business and what could be improved.
- Capture the team’s comments on a flipchart in a structured way.
- Focus on their suggestions for improvement and select the biggest 3 concerns
- Ask the team what they would do to overcome these concerns. Capture the suggestions on a flipchart for each concern. Prompt them with ideas if they are drying up.
- Turn the solutions to these concerns into ground rules for project team meetings in future – capture on the flip chart.
- Ask for thoughts as to what the team can do to influence other parts of the business to be more effective in meetings
- Record next steps (with responsibilities and timing) on the flipchart as the meeting progresses
- Summarise findings and next steps
- Issue next steps immediately after.
Do you see what you’ve done here? You’ve worked with your project team to come up with solutions to a problem (in this case poor meeting management) and you’ve actually role modelled good meeting behaviours in the process.