When I saw you last, you mentioned the “making meetings POP” idea that you were using to have Purpose, Outcomes, Process of meetings clear. Could you send me any links or materials you have on that? Thanks for any resources you can pass on!
That’s what my friend Erik wrote me yesterday. I thought “That’s easy. I’ll send him a link to the blog post I wrote.” But the post wasn’t on this site. I found it in the drafts section, never published. So, I’ve finished it and here it is.
I run a lot of meetings. I sit in many more. Most of my days are spent in meetings.
A successful businessman once confided to me that he would no longer attend a meeting of our organization until we moved the focus of our meetings from discussion to decision. Fortunately, they were not my meetings, but his words continue to echo through my mind frequently when I’m in meetings.
Now, there are several types of meetings. We can assemble for discussion, for fellowship, for worship, for prayer, for parties… But it’s important to be clear about the purpose of the meeting, especially a business meeting.
Meetings are not leadership. But a good meeting can be an effective tool of leadership.
So, what makes “good meeting”?
Some online definitions of good. Some of my favorites in this context are:
- effective. exerting force or influence
- most suitable or right for a particular purpose
Some online definitions of meeting:
- a formally arranged gathering
- the social act of assembling for some common purpose
I’ve found a few resources that help me assemble colleagues together so that we exert force or influence in a way that is suitable for the particular purpose.
I’ve been greatly influenced by the article Make Your Meetings POP. When I prepare for a meeting, I think POP (Purpose, Outcome(s), Process). When I send a meeting invitation to others, the invitation is organized as Purpose, Outcome(s) and sometimes Process.
When we start the meeting, we review the purpose, outcome(s), and process. For a recent meeting, this went something like “The purpose of this time together is to be updated on the partnership plans and to address our questions so that we can make a decision. Outcomes will be a go/no-go decision to move ahead with the partnership and a better understanding of the staffing and funding needs that will require. The process we’ll follow is to hear from Doug and Mike on the latest developments, to hear from Mark (our potential partner organization) about why they see this partnership as beneficial to their organization, and to decide whether to pursue putting the partnership together.”
I’ve found that going through this process personally before the meeting sharpens my focus to execute the meeting well. Going through this at the beginning of the meeting sets the tone and focus of the meeting that significantly increases the productivity of our time together.
I still have much to learn. Another article with great ideas is How to Run a Meeting Like Google. Imagine being a part of 70 meetings a week! Some yet-to-be-learned skills outlined in this article are use data to avoid politics and stick to the clock.
Another good article is Why Most Meetings still Suck by Michael Hyatt.
I’m on the journey to better meetings. What ideas, tools, and resources have you found helpful?