Most of my rants have been directed at senior executives and team leaders, because I consider them the most accountable for lousy meetings. After all, it is organizational leaders who set the tone and establish expectations for how things are supposed to work. [continue reading...]
What is it worth to make your meetings both more efficient and more effective?
As I have been suggesting for the past several weeks, meetings can be improved in many different ways, both by reducing their costs (fewer meetings, shorter meetings, fewer participants, smaller conference rooms, and relying more on virtual meetings), and by improving their outcomes (crisper decisions, more explicit commitments to action, more active follow-up and feedback).
In the course of thinking through how meetings work, how they unfold, and what it takes to improve them, I’ve developed a formal “Meetings Quality Assessment” or a “MQA”, as well as a “Meetings ROI” formula (M-ROI). I’ve also clarified what kinds of actions can increase your MQA score or produce a positive M-ROI. Read more
Over the last two weeks, in “Back to Basics: Making Your Meetings More Effective,” and “The Business Case for Making Your Meetings Matter (Part Two),” I have been sharing several basic ideas for improving your organizational ROI for meetings.
Clearly, the only thing that ultimately matters about any meeting is the quality of the decisions made or the ideas developed during the meeting. However, even if a particular meeting doesn’t produce all the desired outcomes, there can still be value from the conversation:
Even if on the surface the group failed to complete its task, it is worth remembering that the participants may have forged new relationships, learned important facts about the issue or each other, or generated new ideas that will eventually produce even more meaningful results. (from Chapter 8, page 193, Making Meetings Matter)
Today I want to focus on reducing the cost of your meetings. Read more
Recently I’ve been offering tips and techniques for making meetings more productive – and more popular.
A few weeks ago I listed 10 tips for meeting leaders (“10 Tips for Leading Meetings That Matter”), and then on May 30 I shared a reaction to that first article that was largely inspired by Bob Leek of Multnomah County, Oregon (“Making Meetings Matter: Distributed Leadership”).
Those ideas, in turn, sparked a comment and a question from Steven Beary, Principal and CFO of The Beary Group. Steven observed that Bob’s suggestion to “call for adjournment” if a meeting isn’t going well relies on Roberts Rules of Order, which is a common source of principles for leading public-sector meetings. As Steven pointed out, in most private-sector organizations that kind of pushing back or “taking over” a meeting could well be seen as insubordination, and in any case could easily become a “career-limiting move.”
Steven then asked the following question: Read more
Last week I offered ten tips for making a meeting flow smoothly (“10 Tips for Leading Meetings That Matter”). They were clearly directed at meeting leaders who have responsibilities for designing, convening, and directing meetings.
Bob Leek, Deputy Chief Information Officer for Multnomah County, Oregon, responded to that article by observing that, while meeting leaders are nominally “in charge” of their meetings, individual participants also contribute directly to the quality of the meeting conversations.
Bob’s suggestions for participant leadership are so compelling that I want to share them more broadly. Here, with only minor editing to clarify his perspectives, is Bob’s advice for meeting participants: Read more
Do you want your meetings to matter? Of course you do. But wanting and doing are two very separate things. And as I have often stated, I’m convinced that being an effective meeting leader is as much about your mindset as it is about your skillset.
Based on my experience and my research, if you approach your meetings (as either a formal leader or an active participant) with the following ten “Big Ideas” in mind, your meetings – and all your conversations at work (and elsewhere) – will be more productive, more engaging, and more meaningful. Read more
Are you ready to become a smart meeting leader?
I invite you to join me on Tuesday, April, 26, at 4 PM Eastern time, for a free one-hour online conversation focused on “Redefining Leadership for the Digital Age.”
You can register here:
Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7124403613916859139
Webinar ID: 146-058-459
In this inaugural offering I will identify why a new mindset is essential, describe the “P4+” model of meeting leadership I’ve developed, discuss how it produces meetings that are both productive and popular, and offer practical tips for engaging your meeting participants in creative, constructive conversations.
Participating in this program will enable you to:
- Understand how the digital age differs from the industrial age;
- Know why collaborative leadership is so central to success in the digital age;
- Describe the behaviors of collaborative leaders;
- Ask questions that draw out the ideas, insights, and experiences of others; and
- Bring your meetings to an effective ending that achieves your desired outcomes.
I’ve said it many times: meetings are the very heart of the future of work. Meetings are the way knowledge workers learn, communicate, problem-solve, create, share ideas, influence others, and inspire. They are the way work gets done in a world overwhelmed with information. We sort out the wheat from the chaff, we develop new ideas, and we build consensus in meetings.
But how effective are the meetings you participate in, or lead? Almost everyone I talk to complains about the meetings they attend. Over and over I hear terms like “boring,” “a waste of time,” “horrible,” and “never get anything done.”
If that’s what you are hearing or feeling about the meetings you attend and/or lead, what are you doing about it? Read more
I was recently interviewed about Making Meetings Matter by Dr. Jac Fitz-Enz (“Interviewing Jim Ware”). In the course of our conversation he asked me why I had moved from my long-term focus on the future of work to something as “mundane” as corporate meetings.
Dr. Jac’s question caught me a bit off guard, but it made me think. Here’s his question and my response:
Jim what took you from the lofty heights of futuring to the more mundane issues around meetings? There’s no question that we all suffer from meetingitis, but what drew you to it?
Special Note: You are invited to a special (and free) book launch party celebrating the publication of Making Meetings Matter. Join me for an hour of conversation about meetings and collaborative conversations on Wednesday, March 16, at 3 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
Just click on this link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4007501453093003777
(This article is also posted on The Future of Work…unlimited blog)
Last week I reported on my recent interviews with several smart people about what makes for a good conversation (“A Debate is Not a Discussion, and a Discussion is not a Dialogue“) .
Today let’s dig a little deeper into the underlying factors they identified. Here are the seven dimensions of effective conversations:
1. A good conversation is purposeful.
Sure, we often engage in small talk, or in conversations we know are relatively trivial. But when the subject is something we care about, and we have a clear and explicit goal (informing, learning, sharing, persuading) we tune in more intensely and we engage more deeply.
2. The participants are genuinely interested in the topic being discussed. Read more