The Independents' Consultant blog page

Consulting Essentials - Meeting Management

Posted by guest on September 5, 2014

I don’t know about you but the biggest frustration that I have had with every client, without exception, from day 1 is everyone’s obsession with meetings. I find clients who literally spend all day, every day in meetings. It’s almost impossible to get a slot in their diaries, unless you can do some fast talking with their Administration Assistants! I wonder when they actually find the time to get anything done!
So guess what’s one of the first things that I change when starting with a new client? Yes, that’s right….their Meeting Management. And here is a simple 10 step strategy to get you started:

  1. Invite your project team to a meeting about meetings! Include with the invitation the objectives of the session, a timed agenda and where the location will be. I suggest you hold it in an open office space with a flipchart. Ask the team to think about their contributions in advance.
  2. Run the meeting exactly as planned – start on time, follow the agenda and finish on time. Have the main agenda item as a review of what works well with meetings in the business and what could be improved.
  3. Capture the team’s comments on a flipchart in a structured way.
  4. Focus on their suggestions for improvement and select the biggest 3 concerns
  5. Ask the team what they would do to overcome these concerns. Capture the suggestions on a flipchart for each concern. Prompt them with ideas if they are drying up.
  6. Turn the solutions to these concerns into ground rules for project team meetings in future – capture on the flip chart.
  7. Ask for thoughts as to what the team can do to influence other parts of the business to be more effective in meetings
  8. Record next steps (with responsibilities and timing) on the flipchart as the meeting progresses
  9. Summarise findings and next steps
  10. Issue next steps immediately after.

Do you see what you’ve done here? You’ve worked with your project team to come up with solutions to a problem (in this case poor meeting management) and you’ve actually role modelled good meeting behaviours in the process.