Thursday September 3, 2009
Jodi Goldman - Communications Manager on how to get the most out of your meetings
In the current economic condition, business emphasis is on results now more then ever before. Its about bottom line. So, now more then ever before its essential that every minute is used effectively. Meetings can be the biggest culprit for wasted time, so here are some cool ideas to change things up and get the most out of them:
- The Stand-up meeting: the whole dynamic of a meeting can improve when you remove the chairs. In Bob Sutton's book: The No A**** Rule, he points to a study that showed that people in meetings where everyone stood took 34% less time to make an assigned decision, with decisions that were just as good as those made by groups who were sitting down.
- The upside-down meeting: begin with your decision and work backwards. This not only reduces waffle time, but gives a very early indication of whether the group is going to agree on a line of action.
- Labelled meetings: Kris Murren, a partner at innovations company What If says there are two main types of meetings: analytical and ideas-generating. Before starting, label the meeting so everyone knows what's expected.
- The roller coaster: when crucial or difficult decisions have to be made, it may be better to go off-site for a day or two instead of holding several short meetings.
- Information only meetings: these meetings do what they say on the tin - they are for information only. If people want to argue or question a point, they can do so informally outside the meeting.
- Decision only meetings: the only responses allowed are 'yes' or 'no'.
- Rattle-and-roll meetings: race through the first eight or so items on the agenda at speed, then settle down to discuss those that really matter.
If you have any ideas on how to make meetings more effective, or have heard of creative ways of holding meetings we would love to hear from you!