We tend to fill our calendar with meetings, chats over coffee, and membership mixers. But then what? Are you getting the most out of these meetings?
Let's Talk Results:
Steve Jobs insisted that every item on a meeting's "to-do list" should have a designated person that is responsible for that task and any follow-up work that needs to happen accordingly. He called that person the DRI - the Directly Responsible Individual. He assumed that the public accountability would ensure that a certain project or task would actually get done, and he wanted to set clear, organized instructions for his team to follow.
It sounds simple enough, and yet the majority of managers and leaders fail to do this. We’ve all left meetings or corporate events feeling good about what was discussed only to later wonder why so little happened as a result. Where did the momentum go?
Do These Two Things After Every Meeting:
To make sure productivity doesn’t slow after you walk out of the room, do two things after and in between meetings. You should quickly send out clear and concise meeting notes and follow up on the commitments that were made. This is important because if you don't capture the conversation and put it into a form that can be easily retrieved later, the thinking and the agreements can be discarded.
These notes should state each topic you discussed, the key takeaways, and a list of specific actions that will be taken, by which people, and by when. The devil is in the details, keep that in mind. Write and distribute the meeting summary within 24 hours, if not sooner. Your ability to remember and capture the essence of each conversation lessens with each passing hour. Sending the summary out within an hour or by the end of the day also demonstrates a sense of urgency.
Persistence is necessary when getting things done in a timely manner. If you want anything to happen, then you must follow up and continue to do so until the task at hand has been fully completed.
Better Meetings, More Success:
Designing and leading better meetings will help make better use of everyone’s time. But documenting commitments and managing the progress after the meeting is over will also help make future meetings are more productive or even unnecessary.