Conducting Productive Meetings

Report
Death By
Meeting
Our meetings are
held to discuss
many problems
which would never
arise if we held
fewer meetings”—
Ashleigh Brilliant
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Are your meetings dull and uninspiring?
Do team members question the usefulness of
meetings?
Are critical issues avoided or overlooked
during meetings?
Do you wonder if team members are holding
back during meetings?
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Do team members complain about having to
attend meetings?
Do you find that meetings end without
resolution of critical issues?
Do you discuss administrative, tactical and
strategic topics during the same meetings?
Are important discussions cut short because of
time constraints?
Is your team reluctant to go off-site more than
once a year to review the state of the
organization and business?
Do team members seem disengaged during
meetings?
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Good Meetings are three-fourths
preparation and one-fourth
theater.”—from Gail Godwin
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List the agenda topics
avoid administrative and management items
on the agenda as business
consent agenda
 staff/management reports
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Designate time to add agenda items
Accept agenda before you begin
Don’t include agenda items which are not
ready for action
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Research the item.
Include
supporting data
 committee findings
 options and recommendations
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If Appropriate, include wording for a proposed
motion or resolution
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To free the board’s time for discussing matters
they can affect (i.e. the future), a consent agenda is
a tool that can eliminate as much as ½ hour or
more of reviewing what has happened in the past.
The consent agenda is a SINGLE ITEM that
encompasses all the things the board would
normally approve with little comment. The
minutes. The financials (yes, the financials!).
Program reports or CEO reports. All items that
simply report what has already happened in the
past would combine to become one item for
approval - the consent agenda.
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One way to control the length of the Board
meeting is to use a timed agenda. To do this,
the preparer of the agenda should note the
actual start time next to each heading and then
provide an estimate of how much time each
section of the agenda should take. A timed
agenda will allow the Board to re-focus on the
agenda if a topic is discussed outside of the
scope of the agenda or if participants simply
become verbose.
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Require written
reports from
committees, if the
report is
informational only.
Include in advance
meeting packet.
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Defining an
organizational
strategy is hard work
- and executing it is
even more
challenging.
Include strategy on
the agenda for each
meeting.
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Allow plenty of time for discussion, and follow
with an item encouraging teamwork.
Use a List Serve for the group to discuss items
before the meeting.
Schedule a study session, with only that
agenda item. Take no action.
Vote in accordance with the bylaws.
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Follow this order:
Call to Order/Roll call
 Adoption of the Agenda
 Consent Calendar
 Reports (staff, committees not in Consent Calendar,
President)
 Pending Business
 New Business
 Adjourn
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Distribute at least 5 days ahead of meeting
Include supporting documents, including
proposed motions or recommendations for
action
Put mission statement at top of agenda
Include the name of the person presenting each
agenda item
Include the action required for each agenda
item (review, accept, action motion)
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Assures that agenda documents have been
prepared and delivered
Enforces the meeting plan as approved at the
start of the meeting
Encourages everyone to speak.
Does not monopolize a discussion. If the
Chairman needs to offer an opinion, he/she
should abdicate the chairmanship to another
during that agenda item.
Convenes and adjourns the meeting in a timely
fashion.
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Minutes should be succinct.
Record all actions. Name the motion/second.
Avoid recording insignificant remarks/topics.
No editorial opinions!
If meetings have action items assigned, include
a ‘to-do list’ at the end of the minutes
Distribute minutes within one week of the
meeting.
Include notice of the date of the next meeting.
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Don’t meet
Set specific meeting objectives
Provide an agenda in advance
Assign meeting preparation
Assign action items
Examine your meeting process. What worked?
What went wrong?
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