Trapped in Meetings?

No one can argue that most companies spend too much time in meetings. Too many agenda items, too many things to accomplish in too little time, no guidelines, no clear understanding of the real purpose of the meeting are things I’ve found get in the way of having a productive meeting.

One of the strategies I used when I led a sales team was to have standing meetings. Particularly when deadlines are short, proposals are due and the pressure is on which seems to be the standard today, a standing meeting can get everyone back on their tasks more quickly.

We got more done and I could see the relief on my co-workers face when the meeting concluded quickly and they could get back on task.

It’s a commitment to make this change. You have to think about your meetings in different ways.

This type of meeting is not for long discussions, strategy planning or policy decisions. It’s a way to keep co-workers frequently updated on what the group is accomplishing and what still needs to be done.

You can discover other reasons to have stand up meetings, however, here are two that will improve your team’s productivity:

1. Status update – particularly helpful when working on a project with a lot of moving parts and people. Ensure no overlap and nothing falls through the cracks. Strive to make this meeting no longer than 5-10 minutes.

2. Ad hoc decisions – My job was to lead the pitch process for new business development. Occasionally something would change in the process, someone would have an insight to share that would help the team, or a risky creative concept needed to be discussed before moving forward. These types of ad hoc meetings can keep a team on track and ultimately affect the outcome of your project.

You can make your stand-up meetings fun. The important thing is that there is a shared understanding of the purpose of the meetings and the format.

Here’s a link to an article on stand-up meetings and stories of how companies use them to keep moving forward: http://goo.gl/q9cVi.

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