Invest time, resources and energy in engaging meetings that support performance and accountability
How common are effective meetings?
In a recent Forbes survey, 85% of senior executives said they were dissatisfied with the efficiency and effectiveness of staff meetings.
In surveys of meeting participants, over 90% say that having effective meetings is “very important”
How important are effective meetings?
Effective meetings that result in engagement and action toward objectives are invaluable in terms of their contribution to commitment, accountability and performance
The astronomical cost of ineffective meetings:
- In the US, meetings waste an estimated $37 billion dollars of productivity annually.
- As much as 40% of management time is spent in meetings.
- Almost 50% of surveyed employees say their biggest time-waster is ‘too many meetings.’
Meetings that have minimal measurable outcomes sap energy, disengage participants and take time away from activities that add value – draining the organization’s resources, energy and productivity.
To estimate the cost of ineffective meetings:
- Multiply hours spent in meetings that don’t ‘move the dial’, times total compensation cost for every individual in the meeting, times number of meetings per year.
- Add the opportunity cost: how could that time have been used to provide value to the organization? [hint: it’s probably at least 3-5 times actual compensation cost]
- Add the cost of disengagement – and the resulting trickle-down cost of team disengagement.
3 Key Elements of Effective Meetings
Clear purpose and expectations
Establish requirements for meeting preparation, pre-read protocols and deadlines.
Design every agenda around what needs to be accomplished: outcomes and actions
Highlight key decision points on the agenda
Include only those who need to be there, who contribute to and benefit from the purpose and outcomes of the meeting.
Outcomes of Effective Meetings:
- Timely Action
- Forward Movement
Transforming Meetings Workshop Process:
- Pre-workshop confidential mini-survey engages participants in identifying which elements of meetings add value and which don’t, and encourages them to submit improvement sugestions.
- Survey results are compiled by category and presented in the workshop.
- Each participant votes for the top 3 priorities in each category. Votes are tabulated and used to identify top priorities for the workshop focus.
- Group discussion and agreement on improvements and methods to sustain them.
- Initial participant roles defined [eg facilitator, process champion, etc]
- Follow-up: all participants receive the ‘meeting playbook’ which includes an agenda template, summary of meeting purpose and objectives, format, Primary topics, documentation and follow-up protocols. The playbook can be referred to in future meetings and used to orient new participants.
- Post-workshop mini-survey gauges success of workshop and reinforces commitment to sustain improvements.
How do we make changes ‘stick’?
Holding effective meetings – like any other valuable activity – requires commitment and relentless execution.
The Transforming Meetings Workshop engages participants in redesigning meeting purpose, format, and content – so that it becomes ‘our meeting’ instead of ‘their meeting’. The ‘meeting playbook’ guides future meetings and is used to resolve conflicts and improve as necessary. Participants get value which contributes to their success and they commit to stay the course.
Feedback from executive-and manager-level workshop participants:
- “Great value in minimizing redundancy. Priorities help to minimize time spent rehashing former decisions and non-critical issues.”
- “The workshop was very valuable. We cut out a great deal of wasted and repetitious info and it has become a good working meeting”
- “It was good to have a facilitator who was unbiased and looked at the whole picture. This took the emotion out of it and kept us on point.”
- “The workshop opened up a discussion and allowed everyone to freely express opinions and suggestions without hurt feelings.”
- “The workshop provided an opportunity for the team to openly discuss, plan, strategize, and roll out actions pertinent to our success.“
- “The workshop was time well-spent early in the year to establish better guidelines for meetings. We eliminated wasted time – and time is valuable!”
Contact us today to learn how to transform your meetings into engaging, productive work sessions that result in action and accountability. Or call Marilou ‘Louie’ at 800.783.8456
To request a pdf copy, CONTACT US. Include your name and email address, and insert the word “Meetings” in the comments box.
© copyright 2014. Marilou Myrick, The Stage®/ Masters Among Us, Inc. All rights reserved