27.6.11

Meeting Measure

Meeting…. defined as the act or process of coming together as an assembly for a common purpose. A very laudable and effective exercise when done well.  However, the practice of meetings can seem a little less rigorous at times, and not as effective as they could be.  Some key factors at play here, and here’s thoughts specifically around preparation and purpose.

In practice preparation can be quite variable.  Here’s a simple meetings measure to reflect the degree of preparation.  At one end of the continuum there is “Nightclub” style…just turn up and play it by ear.  Might even leave to go to something more interesting part way through.  At the other end of the continuum is “Bookclub” sytle …pre read with insightful collective reflection.  Materials are read and reflected on in advance,  and the meeting is the chance to share perspectives.  Most practical meetings are somewhere in between, but there’ll be a tipping point where just the right amount of preparation can maximise effectiveness.

In practice the purpose might not always be explicit enough.   Perhaps we need a more dynamic term for the person that’s in charge, rather than the ‘chair’.  So not a great metaphor - a passive functional object.  How about the “purposer”, as someone who is relentlessly focussed on delivering the purpose or objective of the meeting…