How your organization’s meetings are run is an excellent example of how your organization’s culture thinks, behaves, and performs.
Consider that your organization’s success depends on the number and quality of decisions made and implemented by your leaders, employees, and business partners. I recommend you focus this initiative on the place and process where most business decision making takes place - the standard daily decision making meeting. This can include brainstorming, analysis, creative thinking, goal setting, problem solving, planning, and above all, decision making.
Improved Meetings ? Why Bother?
Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and Death by Meeting writes “Bad meetings exact toll on the human beings who must endure them, and this goes far beyond mere momentary dissatisfaction. Bad meetings, and what they indicate and provoke in an organization generate real human suffering in the form of anger, lethargy, and cynicism.
“And while this certainly has a profound impact on organizational life, it also impacts people's self-esteem, their families, and their outlook on life.
“The best news of all: for those organizations that can make the leap from painful meetings to productive ones, the rewards are enormous. Higher morale, faster and better decisions, and inevitably, greater results."
With So Many Meeting Improvement Suggestions, What’s Missing?
The vast majority of meeting improvements I see suggested and posted on meeting room walls in organizations I visit are principles and ground rules. They tell participants what to do, but not how. I will also suggest that many leaders and employees in organizations are remarkably tolerant of unproductive meetings.
Process is most often missing from meeting room walls. Process should include feedback that helps the meeting participants learn what they would prefer to do and then improve their meetings. Meeting participants need more than WHAT to do, they also need HOW. The exercise outlined in the video (link below) will help you build a process to follow for your meetings.
"Brilliant process management is our strategy. We get brilliant results from average people managing brilliant processes. We observe that our competitors often get average (or worse) results from brilliant people managing broken processes." Mr. Cho, Vice Chairman of Toyota
Borrowing from Toyota’s Lean and Motorola’s Six Sigma, consider your meetings as decision making factories, and expect no waste and no defects. Do expect good decisions and good buy-in and don’t settle for less.
How Can You Get Started?
The following exercise video asks you and your team a few questions: What don’t you like about your meetings, what would you prefer, what is your preferred process, ground rules, and success criteria?
An additional aspect of this approach is to appreciate that you and your team are the authors of the resulting meeting process. This takes advantage of the wonderful principle “People support what they help create.”
WATCH: Better Meetings Exercise
1. Associated Videos
2. Collaborate – Chapter 7
3. Presentation Option – Traverse City , MI - January 8th
4. Video introductory Interview John Canfield
5. Call or write 616-392-2634, firstname.lastname@example.org
You are welcome to write or call to request a free PDF overview of this exercise titled Better Meeting Process.
Wishing you and yours a grand holiday season !