A Better Meeting Culture at Bixal#
Meetings are a challenge to productivity when thought isn't put into them. Rather than an efficient way to facilitate collaboration and communication. Days filled with “stacked” meetings don’t allow for a productive use of time, nor do they give people time they need to do critical work. Let’s be good stewards of other people’s time and define a better way to effectively incorporate meetings into our culture.
How to hold better meetings:#
- Every meeting will have an “owner” who is responsible for keeping the conversation on track toward the desired outcome within the time frame allotted.
- Include a goal and agenda on every meeting invite. Think about what outcome is needed from the meeting.
- Ensure the Subject Line is clear and concise.
- Think about who the people are that really need to be there to address the question/challenge/issue - don’t shotgun invite.
- When scheduling a meeting, first check people’s calendars. If the time block is open, schedule the meeting and ask that if there’s a conflict the person should reach out to the scheduler. If there’s something on the calendar, then the scheduler should respect that and first reach out to participants to ask about the flexibility of that time block before sending the invite.
- Consider marking people as optional using the Outlook scheduler, but also include a list of optional attendees in the body of the email as well.
- Account for the various ways people may be joining your meeting:
- Web conference for people on their computers
- Phone numbers for people on their phones (optimize for touch devices)
- Conference rooms for people co-located
- When you schedule the meeting, allow for a 5-10 min buffer at the tail end to allow people to move from one meeting to another. For example, schedule the meeting for 50 min or 25 min, not a full 60 or 30 min.
- If you need to make a change to a meeting invite, include a note at the top that describes what you changed so participants receiving the updated invite don’t have to guess.
- Let people know what they can do to prepare for the meeting. When possible, provide relevant links or documents in the meeting invite.
- If there are any links (for example, documents or web conference), make sure they are active so people can click them.
- The person who scheduled the meeting should set up for the meeting before the start time - eg, start the GTM, put up supporting material on the wall, etc. Avoid having the first 10 min of the meeting “setting up”.
- After the meeting the owner should circulate any notes, outcomes, action items and/or assignments that result from the meeting.