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Strong Cultures Have Great Meetings

by Jonathan Jones

Organizations waste a phenomenal amount of money on bad meetings where most employees would prefer to be anywhere but in a conference room. The opposite should be true, with meetings lasting as long as a movie, TV show or sporting event and having the same amount of drama and excitement. The meeting participants should benefit from the process and the outcome. Success begins with leadership and discipline.

Great organizations have meeting norms that are communicated and taught throughout the company. Expectations should be clear to all employees and followed religiously. Meetings should start on time and end on time.  

Recurring meetings should have consistent agendas so employees can know what to expect.   Leaders should have written agendas with a clear purpose distributed ahead of time for all meetings. The topics on which important, deep discussion should occur should be given plenty of time on the agenda. If a meeting gets off track, any observing participant can refer to the purpose or the agenda items to encourage the leader to get the meeting back on track.

There should be a leader for each meeting. It is usually the leader of the group; however, some leaders delegate meeting facilitation to others to develop their leadership skills. The facilitator’s role is to ensure the others are engaged in the process. If there is a scheduled meeting without serious discussion items, then leaders should cancel the meeting. People who are not key to the topics should not be expected to be invited to the meeting.

If led properly, meetings should be the most dynamic, exciting and productive part of a business day.

Jonathan Jones ( or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.
Submitted 7 years 244 days ago
Categories: categoryCulturecentric Leadership
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