Communication

Better Meetings Today

In 2012, London Business School and Harvard Business School teamed up to study the “span of activity” of several CEOs.[1] This is academic speak for the question, “what do business leaders do all day?” Their findings concluded that CEOs spend 1/3 of their time in meetings. No shocker there. Communication is the cornerstone of any business’s operating efficiency, and meetings are one of a few communication tools leaders employ.

There is both art and process in running a great meeting. To learn the art, go deep. Pick up a copy of Lencioni’s Death By Meeting (great title) and read it cover to cover. To learn the process, take 5 minutes today, right now, to take an action that will improve your company’s communication effectiveness. Copy and print the checklist below and use it to audit the next meeting you attend. What gets measured, gets managed, and this WILL make a difference.

Department: 
Meeting Date: 
Auditor: 
#ActivitiesY/NComments
1Agenda sent out one (1) day in advance  
2Meeting Chair is prepared for meeting (on time, ready to time meeting, ready to take notes, etc.)  
3All participants are on time (in-person and/or telecom)  
4Participants have brought a copy of the agenda with written notes on suggested solutions.  
5Additional agenda items suggested (if needed) at the start of the meeting.  
6Meeting started on time (agenda items started at the start time of the meeting).  
7Meeting Chair maintained a list of action items for the Action Log.  
8Action items clearly defined (what, who, when) at the end of the meeting.  
9Meeting stayed reasonably on track per the agenda.  
10Meeting ended on time (or early).  
11Decisions were made on at least 2 critical issues.  
12What was the cost of this meeting?  
13What was the value of this meeting?  
14What could you do to improve this meeting?  

[1] http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/ceotime.pdf

Written By:
Tara Landes

Tara Landes is the Founder and President of Bellrock. She has spent over 15 years consulting and training in small to medium-sized enterprises. A sought-after speaker on a wide range of business topics, Tara has delivered workshops and seminars at conferences and industry associations across Canada. Tara obtained a BA (Honours) in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and earned an MBA from UWO's Richard Ivey School of Business.

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