I had an interesting meeting with a group of very intelligent, highly charged ladies today. They were trying to figure out the best route in getting commitment from their managers to adopt key performance measures as a way of running and reporting progress of their respective businesses. I was called in to be given a brief of my facilitation role in their workshop next week.
After about 90 minutes, I had to excuse myself to catch another meeting across town and as I drove off I was thinking how come after 90 minutes of discussions, I had got no more closer to the brief I was looking for as compared to the time I walked into the room? Was it me or was it the ladies or was it the combination of the ladies and me?
And this is so common in so many meetings. Time and energy is spent, a lot of action but no motion. To make meetings work, there are some very basic protocols to be followed and if followed you are guaranteed motion.
The protocols are:
Define the Goal for that meeting and ensure everyone is clear of that goal.
Define the key Roles in the meeting- the Scribe, the Time Keeper, the Meeting Minder
Define the Inter-personals – how are we going to behave in this meeting
Define the Process – they way the meeting will be conducted
(BTW:I must thank Noor of Shell for gifting me the above protocols)
This is so basic yet I went in and did not establish the protocols. I am sure if I did we would have had a brilliant outcome in 90 minutes.
So the moral of the story is no matter how clever people are, & no matter how committed people are, in the absence of clarity and process we will get a lot of action but very little motion.
Charlie’s Angels or Powerpuff Girls? Either way these ladies were going to beat the stuffing out of their managers, they were just trying to decide if they should come across as strong and mature or cute and funny.