The truth of the matter is that nothing of any substance actually gets done in organizations without meetings. As flawed as they are, meetings are inevitable as they are indispensible.
If meetings are as inevitable as they are indispensible, how do we make sure they aren’t such a colossal waste of time? How do we make sure every meeting matters?
The Key to Successful Small Meetings
For smaller meetings, like staff or Board meetings, 90% of the problems encountered in those meetings are process-related. For the most part, your meeting processes are inefficient and ineffective. The meeting leader and the way they run the meeting is often, but not entirely responsible. They are rarely held accountable because of their higher organizational status.
Process interventions, including working with meeting leaders, are relatively simple and straightforward. Once you’ve made the necessary process adjustments, meeting efficiency and effectiveness rebounds relatively quickly. The results are seen across a number of individual and organizational outcome measures.
The Key to Successful Large Meetings
For larger meetings, like conventions or tradeshows, process is important, but it’s more a question of design – or the process of arranging elements in such a way as to accomplish a particular purpose.
In larger meetings there are so many moving parts and so many more people involved, it’s critical to start by focusing on your business goals and translate those into meeting objectives and aligning all your meeting elements accordingly.
Without these goals and objectives, you will simply never know whether your meeting is successful or not. No way. No how.
And there you have it. The short answer.
If your small meetings are killing motivation and inhibiting creativity and innovation, fix your process.
If your large meetings lack meaning and purpose and, more importantly, don’t contribute to relevant business outcomes, align them and every element in them so that they do and get rid of everything else.
As always, the devil is in the details. Read on.