What is the Secret Ingredient to Effective Meetings?

There is probably nothing so maligned in the modern world as the business meeting. There are countless blogposts, articles, vlogs, and books written about how much time and money are wasted in business gatherings. Similarly, there is the same amount of effort detailing how to conduct effective meetings . . . yet the business world continues to make the same mistakes!

Meetings still lead the business world as one of the largest wastes of corporate time and stakeholder money!

However, effective meetings do serve a crucial function in any organization. Without effective face to face time for leaders, the corporation would wither and die. It is in meetings that innovative ideas are born, visions are cast, fortunes are made, and empires are created.

A great example of an idea that was created out of a series of productive meetings is the modern day GPS.

It started as a side project by a few American engineers trying to track the Russian satellite Sputnik. This evolved into a system to understand the location of US nuclear submarines (so they could know the exact launch parameters for their missiles). This system was then released to the public domain as the Global Positioning System in September 1983.

Watch this Steven Johnson TED talk to get the whole story!

So, what is the secret ingredient that makes a meeting worthwhile and uber productive?

The Secret Ingredient to Effective Meetings

Collaboration!

It is not really a surprise that collaboration is the secret to effective meetings! Collaboration is crucial to the development and spread of ground breaking innovations and ideas. These earth shaking ideas are generally not single events . . . they come from a mixing of things like:

  • Personalities
  • Cultures
  • Backgrounds
  • Interests
  • Experiences
  • Environments
  • Disciplines
  • Education

Ground breaking ideas cannot happen in isolation but only through constructive interaction!

We are failing as business leaders and we are failing our organizations if our meetings are not resulting in:

  • New ideas
  • Increasing revenue
  • New products
  • Decreasing costs
  • Increasing customer satisfaction
  • New concepts
  • Increasing operational efficiency
  • Closer alignment with the corporate vision

It is up to us to create environments where collaboration and active participation is an expectation of all meeting attendees!

Take Action

Provide your feedback using this survey on the effectiveness of your business meetings. I will collect the feedback over the next few weeks and post a follow up article to summarize the results. I will also provide some ideas and tips on how you can set up and run collaborative and engaging meetings.

Also, take a look at these related articles for more information:

 

The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” Henry Boye

 

What is your take on what makes meetings productive? Leave your comments below!

 

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