Hi Catherine, the best move I ever made in that area was to require that the person scheduling and running the meeting publish an agenda for it. Half of the meetings fell off the calendar for lack of an agenda. The other half that actually took place were both shorter and much more productive! Good luck! Theresa Marcroft Interim CMO MarketSavvy Inc. www.market-savvy.com/
Social Media Consultant, Publisher, and Contrarian Curmudgeon
September 18th, 2016
Recently terminated a management employee for wasting time calling so many meetings. They are typically a smoke screen for inefficiency or a narcissistic expression. For year we met with management weekly no more than 1/2 hour, and expected positive reports and shared new directions.
Very experienced (40 years) corporate,securities and real estate attorney.
September 18th, 2016
Once a week on Friday afternoon. Agenda is: this is what we accomplished this week; this is what we intend to accomplish next week,
Consider using a meeting clock. This is a simple device that measures money, not time.
Once people realize how much it costs to have 20 people in a room for an hour it changes perspective.
Owner, InteractiveQA - Marketing, Web Dev, Testing, Data & Market Analysis
September 19th, 2016
Good answers. Many meetings are signs of poor organization or ego (essentially what Chuck said). Some are because there isn't functional chatter amongst team members. They need to be able to easily and quickly discuss things as they are happening via email, chat, phone, walk by, etc.
To make meetings productive, you need the following: 1) A published agenda 2) Prepared presentation(s) 3) Written outcome summary of timeline-based Next-step before the meeting ends 4) Schedule the shortest time to achieve the above. 5) For unrelated discussions that come up- schedule a separate one with limited participants
A draft minutes with an agenda on the cover page plus names of attendees with heads-up itemised content in the inner pages and assigning info or action against each item and by whom if it is an action item plus attachments in the meeting invite shows what you want to achieve at the meeting and by whom.
This achieves what will be discussed and the basis thereof, who could be doing what and presence needed, fast tracking a meeting based upon the draft minutes and not getting side-tracked, making it possible to release the official minutes the same day.
Besides the great tip of forcing the organizer write up an agenda before the meeting I always followed this two rather brutal rules. 1. Every meeting generates ToDos. For every ToDo there are only two outcomes til the next meeting: Done or not (yet) done. If not done, then either the meeting or the one not finishing the task it in time has to suffer. = Either the follow up meeting was scheduled too short after the original OR the guy did not perform. 2. After each agenda point I always asked the participants: a) Was this topic new to you? and b) Was it relevant? If it was not 100% YES on both questions then the team wasted meeting time.
3. Just before the end: Hands up, who regret coming to this meeting? Obviously not that many people will publicly answer this honestly but one can see the correct answer in their faces.
Many, many meetings get trimmed down or cancelled at all rather quickly when acting as the bad cop asking these kind of questions.