Turbo-Charge Your Meetings
September 29, 2008, 9:19am PDT | Length: 00:02:35
Are employees' eyes glazing over at meetings? Do you start to wonder why you're even there? Edward Muzio of Group Harmonics explains how to turbo-charge meeting agendas by adding 'expected outcomes'.
Edward Muzio: Hi, I am Edward Muzio, CEO of Group Harmonics. Today, I am going to talk about how to turbo-charge your meetings.
We've all sat in a meeting with our eyes glazed over, bored to death, wondering why we were there. When you and the people around you are doing that, it means the company is wasting a huge amount of resources. That means if you are the one running the meeting, it is up to you to not let that happen.
Here is a simple tool, a template for drawing an agenda for a meeting. It looks like this.
Right at the top, the first and the most important thing that we put is the objective. This is why we are all here. It is a one‑ or two‑sentence statement of our purpose. We are here to brainstorm solutions. We are here to solve a problem. We are here to share information. Whatever it is, we are very specific about what we are trying to do. That way, everyone knows what they are doing here.
Then, in these columns we put the time, who, and what. We might say, "For the first 15 minutes, Dan is going to give a presentation about x, y, z." That's time, who, and what, and that's fine.
Then, the secret is one more column over here, which we call EO or Expected Outcome. This is where the turbo-charging is. What I write in here is what we are going to get out of that presentation. Maybe we are all going to understand what Dan understands. Maybe we are going to discuss his content and propose changes. Whatever it is, we are writing it here under the expected outcome. Once we've got that, then we move on.
Maybe the next 20 minutes we're going to all brainstorm. Again, what are we brainstorming? What's the purpose? When we get done with these 20 minutes, what will we have? That's what we write in here.
This way, we have a map to what we are trying to accomplish at the highest level and how the steps are going to get us there. Everyone knows what they're doing, like Dan, and everyone knows what to expect.
Then, 24 hours, here s a clock, 24 hours before the meeting, you send it out. Here's how you send it out. You send it to the people that are supposed to go, and you carbon copy ‑‑ cc in email ‑‑ the people that are interested but are not going to attend. That way, within a day before the meeting, beforehand, they know if they are supposed to come. They know if they are interested. They know what is going to happen, and they know what to do to prepare. That's it. It's the fastest, easiest way to keep from wasting your time and everybody else's time, too.