Tired of meetings that leave a black hole of outcomes?


Published: 4 Aug 2017

Taking Care Of Business


Here’s how you can change all of that!

Change the terminology – Call them ‘Micro-sessions’ instead.

By taking out the word ‘meeting’ you set the scene. Hey, it’s in the title –  ‘micro’.

This is nothing new by the way. Some of the most successful corporations on the planet have been operating something like this for decades.

What did they figure out quicker than most? That a group of people meeting does not = outcome!

I’ve been coaching top corporate’s for years and this is the formula I encourage them to adopt.

  • Small groups of INVITED people that can specifically contribute to the problem you are trying to solve – ideally 5-6. Tell the invited people WHY they have been invited – i.e because I.T is in your portfolio/ you are the manager for that team. Meetings should have a PRODUCT and a PURPOSE.
  • Try not to always hold them in a board room. Go off site – in a cafe, in a park, around the kitchen table.
  • Rules of engagements. 10-18 minutes in duration. Set a unique start time i.e. 11.38 am – just before lunch.  Laptops and phones to be left out of the room. No power points – using hard data instead is a proven way to show the nay-sayers and passive aggressives/toxics in the room the facts.
  • Appoint a meeting decision maker rather than a ‘chairperson’. They will boot out gate crashers, call people to order if they have been speaking longer than 2 minutes, and direct the meeting.
  • Allow ‘free time’ after the meeting for creative thoughts to flow. (This is NOT a meeting after the meeting!) –but ‘individual’ time for reflection and creative thought. G Mail and Google Earth were thought up in ‘creative time’.
  • Have a D.R.I like Apple do – a directly responsible person, for each task agreed to/solved towards the purpose or product of the meeting. Making an individual person accountable for a specific achievement in a specific time frame really works.
  • Save 1 minute per person to set agreed tasks at the end of the meeting. And then DISMISS them. If someone starts talking again or re-hashes things, the decision maker leads the rest out. So in a typical 10-18 minute meeting with 5 attendees. 3 minutes at the beginning to ‘set’ the purpose of the meeting and the product needed from the meeting. 2 minutes talk time per person. 5 minutes individual accountability at end.

Give it a go and observe  the difference in engagement level, productivity, and outcomes.

Stay in touch and let me know how it worked for you.

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