Do you find your days filled with meetings, with no time to do the critical thinking required to deliver the results you are accountable for? This is a common complaint we hear from executives at all levels of organizations.

Two kinds of meetings

A key premise of our work is that all results are a product of the actions people take, and meetings are one action people take. The results of those meetings have everything to do with whether they are ‘breakthrough’ or ‘business as usual’.

Some signs your meetings may be ‘business as usual’ are:
• The team isn’t moving closer to the goal
• No new and different results are happening
• Milestones are not identified or if they are, the team is missing them.
• People nod their heads in agreement, but leave the meeting clearly not aligned.
• They are opinion vs. action-oriented, and the same topics are revisited repeatedly

Does this sound like some (or all) of the meetings you attend?

Breakthrough meetings

Here are some steps to take to ensure that the meetings you are leading and attending are in line with producing results.

Publish an agenda at least 24 hours in advance: include what the intended outcome is for the meeting. Assign a meeting leader to ensure the agenda is followed and issues are captured in a parking lot to be addressed at a later time.

Start and end the meeting on time (or early): this brings integrity to the meeting and communicates respect for people’s time.

Have the right people in the meeting: if there are decisions to be made, be sure the people who can make those decisions are in the meeting, this moves the action forward…

Action-oriented: Actions taken since the last meeting are reported on. When someone agrees to take an action, it is specific and measurable (I will do X by Y date). Promises and requests for action are captured and there is a structure for follow-up.

Take a stand

Regardless of whether you are the meeting organizer or an attendee, begin to implement these steps to move your meetings from ‘business as usual’ to ‘breakthrough’ and you will see the results of those meetings move too.

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