Time is precious. For many of us, meetings take a huge percentage of our time. I am often struck by how often a meeting’s—
- Purpose is unclear
- Agenda is a list of topics to report on or discuss.
- Attendees are many, with significant variance in accountability and value-add.
- Discussion is presentation-debate-adjournment, only to need another meeting.
And, we complain about our calendar packed with meetings, double- and triple-booked.
How do you set the agenda for your team?
Here are some ideas to consider. Have your team’s agenda focus on:
- Working on a specific problem or opportunity that could use some new thinking or is particularly gnarly.
- Making critical, complex decisions, especially with cross-team accountability.
- Diagnosing cross-functional efforts.
- Informing/educating/aligning the full team on a deeper level about a key initiative.
- Building relationship strategies that cut across the team.
- Understanding top talent capabilities and interest.
Two common tendencies to reconsider
A couple of general recommendations:
- No more round-the-table updates, unless you can make them truly meaningful. Have another way to share information and progress updates.
- Carefully consider which items can be accomplished with a subset of the team, saving meeting time for other members.
I am currently thinking about this topic as it relates to my own work with teams. In reflection, I think the real magic of teams rarely occurs in a formal meeting. Rather, it occurs in working with each other. Of course, work does often need to get accomplished in meetings. But, I think we can all do a much better job of ensuring meetings are productive, and working our teams in the right combination of roles.
What agenda do you think would support your team’s success?