by Lauren Brousell

Three Steps To Productive Meetings

May 31, 20122 mins
CIOIT LeadershipIT Strategy

Meetings are a necessary evil in the business world -- few people like them, but without face-to-face discussion time, problems persist. Minimize the anguish and get the most out of precious time by following this expert's advice.

I’m new to the CIO role. How do I to make meetings more productive?

Always remember that meetings should work in service of an organization’s agility and so should be similarly agile. Any significant shift in information and communications technology is a change-management challenge that requires good communication, coordination and collaboration. Meetings are the key to that. Prepare a mix of meeting types, organized on a schedule that clearly communicates what happens at which meetings and who attends. What’s most important is that your agenda clearly states a meeting’s goal and sets a time frame you can stick to.

Sometimes meetings can just be huddles. Consider a daily roundup of senior stake-holders. Yes, that’s right, every single day. It can have a massive impact on reducing chaos, confusion and conflict. Many executives assume they can’t afford to take the time every day but, after trying it for a while, realize they can’t afford not to take the time. Morning meetings can be massive time savers and are best used to survey the status of projects, staff and operations.

Never underestimate the power of a good meeting. Well-designed, well-facilitated meetings can generate good participation so that people feel heard, and can dig into tough issues so that people feel hopeful. Good meetings can also improve trust, teamwork and agility. By being consistently organized in your approach to meetings, you will find that facilitating them becomes easy and their outcomes improve.

Mike Richardson is president of Sherpa Alliance, a management support business. He is also a chair of Vistage International, a global collaborative of CEOs.