The art of the good meeting

  • Answer the question – do you really, really need to meet? (clue: meetings are expensive)
  • Have a clear objective for the meeting, mapped out in a pre-circulated agenda.
  • Max 4 participants.
  • Choose the right participants – people who are interested, have ideas, and can make decisions.
  • Say your piece then shut-up (i.e. be an active listener).
  • Make sure you stay aligned with the bigger picture / strategic objectives.
  • Enable participants to challenge each other openly and respectfully without emotion. #psychologicalSafety.
  • Stay focused on meeting objectives, and clearly agree next steps – what they are, who is owning them, deadlines, dependencies.
  • Capture key decisions and tasks electronically during the meeting – don’t wait until later to write them up, causing unnecessary delay.
  • Close the meeting when you’ve met your objective.
  • Communicate the outputs from your meeting to the wider team – Work In The Open.
  • Plus delta the meeting at the end – what worked well, what should you do better next time?

Thanks Coco for collaborating on this list with me.

Senior Leadership Support Is All That Matters

I’ve tried to introduce ‘agile’ working methods into two different organisations. In organisation A, we persevered for about 6 months before reverting to traditional waterfall approaches.  In organisation B, we’re about 6 months in, and we’re flying!  The obvious question is, why the difference?

The organisations are comparable in size, work in the same sector, and offer the same services.  Three words:  Senior Leadership Support

In organisation A, we failed to enthuse the seniors.  In organisation B, the seniors have driven agile adoption.  What a difference that has made.  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions on the importance of getting your leaders on-board for any Organisational Development initiative.