Preface: Every business meeting planned, should advisedly begin with these two questions. First, what does this group have to meet about? And, secondly, who are the right people for this meeting?
Elite (Entrepreneurial) Business Meeting Traction (Segment II)
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA, CVA
Patrick Lencioni, president of the Table Group has this to say about the great meetings. “Meetings are the “linchpin” of everything,” “If someone says you have an hour to investigate [research] a company, I wouldn’t look at the balance sheet. [or cash flow statements] I’d watch their executive team in a meeting for an hour. If they are clear and focused and have the board on the edge of their seats, I’d say this is a good company worth investing in.” Article: Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Knowledge @ Wharton.
Interesting perspective, yes? Yet, very effective entrepreneur. If you want to hear the iTunes your business meetings broadcast, this is likely how you can determine quickly if your business meetings is achieving the ultimate purpose, with the listeners hearing and departing the meeting acting with increased strategic objectives, i.e. gaining traction.
There are numerous types of business meetings: “retreat meetings,” “executive level meetings,” or say “operational or company meetings.” Lencioni provides some key questions with regards to preparation for a [entrepreneurial] business meeting. First, what does this group have to meet about? And, secondly, who are the right people for this meeting?
It helps to start with the Why? The objective of the meeting is a good starting point for who should be in the room. Why is this meeting necessary? Why does the group need to meet? Say, is the meeting to build teamwork cohesiveness, communicate information, develop strategic goals for the enterprise, train the team on new business processes or field processes, develop specific skills of the group, i.e. customer relations, new software, or field technologies, or is the meeting to simply gather information from field members and office staff?
Once you have the right people in the room, the next question is: What is the purpose of the meeting? “That may sound pretty obvious,” notes Lencioni, “but it’s amazing how many times people come together and are not really clear about the purpose. One is to make a decision or have a discussion that will lead to a decision. Or is the purpose to give updates and share information? A lot of times people find themselves in a meeting where the primary purpose is to receive information, and that’s a poor use of people’s time. Those meetings can be easily dispensed with and can be an email instead that people read in their own time. The majority of meetings should be discussions that lead to decisions.” Article Meetings: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Knowledge @ Wharton.
“Recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking. ….Plenty of anecdotal evidence also suggests that walking meetings lead to more honest exchanges…”
In the framework of the right people, can we challenge the continual table or desk and chair discussion, and consider in some instances HBR article: How to Do Walking Meetings Right from: Russel Clayton Christoper Thomas and Jack Smother.
Fran is part of a growing trend known as walking meetings or “walk and talk…..”
A walking meeting is simply that: a meeting that takes place during a walk instead of in an office, boardroom, or coffee shop where meetings are commonly held……. Likewise, Melmed finds that merely holding some of her meetings while walking has given her the necessary “unplugging” time she needs in order to be an effective writer.
Recent research finds that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking. ….Plenty of anecdotal evidence also suggests that walking meetings lead to more honest exchanges with employees and are more productive than traditional sit-down meetings.
Furthermore, Dr. Eytan believes walking meetings lead to better employee engagement by breaking down barriers between supervisor and subordinate or between coworkers. He sees the bonding achieved through walking meetings as a micro version of the bonding that can be experienced when coworkers travel together on business trips.
“……if your [business] team is clear and focused on how to proceed effectively after the (discussion) meeting, the time was invested well.”
To be sure, not all meetings are suitable for walking meetings (and not everyone is physically able to participate in walking meetings). Sometimes it is valuable to have materials or a whiteboard close at hand….The best candidates for walking meetings are ones where colleagues are conferring on decisions or exploring possible solutions. Indeed, in our survey, participants holding managerial and professional positions experienced more of a creativity boost from walking meetings than those in technical or administrative type jobs (though all categories realized some benefits).
Reading a quote from Edmond Mbiaka “The habit of talking the talk has distracted many people from walking the walk” is too relevant to business meetings, because the appraisal value of the meetings, i.e. the discussion, will only be realized with the speed and achievement of the destination from walking the talk on implementation, e.g. if your business team is clear and focused on how to proceed effectively after the (discussion) meeting, the time was invested well. You’ll walk out of that meeting and be an “elite” business, as a result of the effective traction from the business meeting.