2.7k views4 Upvotes5 Comments

Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
I have this particular methodology called a POWER start for a meeting. It's an acronym for the information that must be determined in the meeting agenda or described in the invite: purpose, outcomes, what's in it for me (or the value that someone will get out of the meeting), how to engage within the meeting, and then the roles and responsibilities. That's fundamentally how I helped many of my teams drive and run meetings, and it's worked successfully in a lot of organizations, not just my own. I empower people to decline meetings because every meeting invite should tell the person what the purpose is and what value they will get out of that particular meeting by attending. The roles and responsibilities are made very clear. For each outcome or decision, we identify who are the people who need to make the decision or what information is required, and all this comes within the agenda or as a prep in the meeting invite.

Many people run meetings as support forums, so they just have everyone and anyone included in the meeting. We try to make it very crisp. If you're invited directly, that means you're a decision-maker or have an outcome that has to be delivered. That means you need to prep for it; you need to have information. If you're an optional or the invite was just forwarded to you, then it just means that it's informational or something that you will probably be interested in, but you're not expected to make a decision or come with some information there. So we give them an opportunity to pick and choose, depending upon whether they're in the directly invited group or the optional field. We do this pretty strictly in our teams.

The next thing that I force on is that you should always follow up with a post or expectation in your asynchronous communication channel outlining the people, your expectation, and the outcomes once you send the meeting invite. That way, you can tag people and say this is what I expect from you for this meeting, and they get much more prepared. They're aware of what is required, and if they're not able to give that information, they can communicate upfront, saying, "Hey, I cannot give you that information because of X, Y, and Z." That increases the transparency and visibility to the organization. Maybe there's an impediment there, or perhaps something is blocking the information from being disseminated. Then we can investigate that friction and find out why. And that becomes more tactical. Or they can say they need more time, which is perfectly okay. So we don't have to waste time going into the meeting and then find out, “yeah, something was blocked, so we couldn't deliver this information. Let's go to the next item on the agenda.” There are several other techniques that you can use, but this is one that I've found valuable.

When you reduce the number of meetings and make them smarter, you have crisper meetings and get to the outcomes quicker. You must get to the outcomes in the meeting; otherwise, that meeting has failed.
6 1 Reply
Chair and Professor, Startup CTO in Education, 5,001 - 10,000 employees

You must be a visionary leader! Very much appreciated your insightful information.

CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Less meetings, shorter meetings.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Don’t have them??
Emerging Technologies Informatics Architect in Healthcare and Biotech, 10,001+ employees
A tool which computes the company cost of the meeting (hourly salary of all attendees x hours) and attaches it to the meeting, and is included in expense reports.

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