Does Your Organisation Conduct Productive Team Meetings?
"Oh no - not another meeting!"
We have all been in them – meetings that are unproductive, poorly organised and structured or worse, destructive to your own work, the workplace dynamics and relationships. Have you ever left a meeting feeling that was unproductive or completely unsure of what the results and actions were of the meeting? Or that you have been unable to articulate your point of view or felt powerless? Or been nervous about leading a meeting, especially when you want to facilitate the meeting in a different way than people are used to?
You are not alone. Workplace teams worldwide are grappling with the complexities of implementation, change and general business. Team meeting productivity processes often fail to collect, store, regularly refer to or build on the learning and knowledge that takes place at meetings and within the team. Let alone following a structure for having purposeful and effective meetings that support the work and teams.
Sounds profound and easy, yet often not practised is making the purpose of the meeting, agenda, meeting boundaries and the meeting agreements explicit at the onset. Ensuring everyone participates at the meeting and not make the major decisions as the water fountain afterwards. We know when we have been part of great meetings how these interventions make all the difference. Managing the agenda, time and meeting items is critical as too is an agreement of behaviours, agreed on outcomes and actions plus the minutes and next meeting. Being reflective at the end of each meeting is a major intervention that is revolutionising team meetings.
From my own research, it is the learning that takes place in team meetings and how this gets lost through there being no opportunities to gather centrally progressive work data, meeting artefacts and lessons learned. By doing so would enhance productivity, group knowledge, group memory and deepen learning experiences as professionals and as a multidisciplinary team. The inclusion of notational systems for representing rich meeting summaries of meeting documents, knowledge and agreements for the maintenance of group memory adds on-going value and sustainability to make meetings highly productive.
There is a standard team meeting productivity toolkit that comprises of tools and techniques for running effective productive meetings along with easily incorporated learning methods and systems that captures the long-term memory and work of the team along with the short-term memory artefacts at the meetings. Most importantly this tool-kit provides a process for team reflection of the productiveness of each meeting in a quick easy method.
Mandy can design and tailor toolkits to suit your team and work with you to implement the best solution that you can review and improve regularly to ensure team meeting attendees are increasing their satisfaction of having highly productive meetings. Setting the scene for knowledge building amongst team members have been proven to increase problem-solving, learning, team effectiveness, outcomes and reflexivity.
Teams typically have five key characteristics when involved in meetings:
A difference between the team and the others
Interaction with others outside of the team and
The development of a shared mental model.
Rich meeting summaries, problem representations, group memory maintenance, microlearning, and reflective team practices are the interventions that will transform your meetings exponentially.
It is not about throwing the baby out with the bathwater – it is evaluating what is working well and what is not. From this identifying what changes are required and planning how to get there. Improving your team meeting productivity and your team meeting leadership is possible, not only possible it will be one of the most worthwhile productive work practices that you invest in which improve your bottom line.