Make your meetings more expensive…
…and they might actually cost you and your business less.
Imagine you hired a meetings fairy. The fairy’s job would be to ensure that meetings were short, efficient and effective. He would focus on:
- Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
- Making the meeting start bang on time.
- Gently but firmly enforcing a set of basic rules of engagement which require people to switch off mobiles and laptops, focus on the meeting, one person to speak at a time, and so on.
- Ensuring that every agenda item has a clearly defined purpose, and accomplishes that purpose, then ends.
- Making sure the agenda shows an estimated time for each item, and that there is enough time available to do each item justice.
- Welcoming guests appropriately, with adequate directions, a place to productively wait before the meeting starts, access to the internet, something to drink, descriptions of who else will be in the room and a clear understanding of the goals of the meeting.
- Managing the flow of information, including agendas and Powerpoints. This includes eliminating the last minute running around looking for a VGA cable or a monitor that works.
- Making sure that everyone comes in, and leaves, with a copy of whatever they need.
- Ensuring notes are kept of actions agreed, who is accountable for each action, and by when the action needs to be completed.
- Issuing a follow up memo to everyone who attended the meeting, clearly delineating who came and what was decided.
If you do all this, every time you call a meeting it’s going to cost more to organise. Which means you’ll call fewer meetings, those meetings will be shorter and more efficient. And in the long run, you’ll waste less time and get more done.