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Effective meetings

Constructing the most effective meetings takes a lot more than just arriving five minutes early and sticking to the topic. Beth Ashmead Latham reports.

The quest for the most effective meetings has produced helpful tips on setting expectations early, sending clear agendas ahead of time and briefing contributors. Bringing doughnuts was high up the list too – staff incentives, perhaps.

While arriving five minutes early, sticking to the topic, and sending timely minutes are excellent habits for individuals, the structures that foster good meeting practices are more interesting. For example, reducing the number of meetings, shortening the remaining ones, thus ensuring they are productive.

Goals and costs

Meeting outcomes must be clear at the start. Not making sure of this is the fundamental mistake most people make according to Scott Shanks, project manager at IBM with 20 years’ experience running programmes for government and corporates globally. Once a goal is set, the meeting must stick to it.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 267, September 2018.

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