Actionable meetings

Actionable Meetings Improve Productivity

In today’s short attention span theater, it’s tough to keep people motivated and focused. If you’re rehashing the same old topics, you’re losing the hearts and minds of the group. When used well, meetings can be amazingly productive, great culture builders that accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

“Meetings shouldn’t be about work, they should advance work”
Renee Callinan, Co-Founder of Stop Meeting Like This.

Been there, done that

Too many meetings drone on like some sort of soul-crushing, walking-dead zombie robbing people of joy, productivity, and time.

Does any of this sound familiar?

– “We always have this meeting on Tuesday”
– No agenda or call purpose.
– Follow-up actions without a person responsible or due date
– No follow-up notes or recap
– People exit call and everyone has different versions of what was discussed and decided
– You have an aftermeeting to talk about what happened at the meeting

Have we all been through those experiences (and many others too)?

Put focus on your flow of work, not the meeting

Having meetings are not the objective, but making progress on your goals is. Meetings are just a point in the process you use to keep aligned, focused and motivated.

Actionable meetings have a clear purpose and outcomes. Improve your meetings by determining if you have a good blend of time spent on information sharing, discussion, and decision making that result in action oriented follow-through and implementation. You should collectively be working toward clear and measurable goals and outcomes.

Your meetings are about the flow, moving work forward and using your time to remove bottlenecks, creative problem solving, decision making and setting new or modified paths forward.

Making meetings flow

Like any flow, you want a smooth process coming in, minimal friction within the activity and strong process back out. Meetings are no different.

Actionable agendas

Your agenda is the road map for the meeting. Each agenda topic must be relevant and support the objective of the meeting. Each agenda topic should also have a goal too.

Hint: Use verbs in your agenda topics. Example: Select replacement vendor; Finalize topics for Q3 blog posts; Set schedule for product releases; Recap meeting takeaways.

Additionally, equip attendees with any supporting status or background information.

Actionable results

Experts unanimously share the importance of a documented recap from a meeting. This should include: the conversation highlights; decisions made; and tasks including people responsible and due dates. And most importantly it should reflect a shared perspective, not just one person’s recollection or viewpoint.

The meeting recap is the cornerstone to making progress because you literally have everyone on the same page. When it’s missing, you introduce drag and friction though your entire workflow.

By focusing on the flow and progress of your work rather than just spending time together, you’ll create a culture of attainment and success. We believe there is a high correlation of a company’s meeting style and corporate culture.

Please share how you use your calls and meetings to make progress.

Ric Pratte

Ric Pratte is CEO & Co-Founder of AlignMeeting. Ric is a long time high-tech entrepreneur and is currently focused on new business models in our digital world such as social business, digital sales & marketing, predictive analytics and game mechanics. Previously, Ric was a President & COO of Rapid Insight; Founder & CEO of JitterJam, a pioneer in SocialCRM software that was sold to Meltwater Group in 2011; and Co-Founder & CEO of Campagne Associates, acquired by Blackbaud, Inc. in 2006. Follow Ric on Twitter: @ricpratte

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