They exist for two reasons and two reasons only:
- You don’t have all the information you need from others
- You don’t have all the trust you need from others
With that in mind there are a couple of principals I try to follow:
- Only the right people to gain all the information and trust should be present
- If someone does not find a minimum of 80% of the time valuable, a reassessment of either attendees or agenda is required.
- Everyone must be clear on the objective of the meeting PRIOR to it commencing. (Including any preparations beforehand.)
- Every meeting should have an owner, responsible for achieving the successful outcome
- A meeting to gain information required:
- Identifying of what is unknown as a START
- Identifying of how the unknown will be resolved as an END
- A meeting to gain trust requires:
- Understanding why trust is needed as a START
- Either increasing trust OR identify what needs to be done to increase trust as an END
There’s a distinction between a meeting and collaborating. One is about gathering the resources (information and trust) required for success and the other is about using the resource to achieve your desired outcome.
The method to being effective is through maximising collaboration whilst minimising meetings.