I’ve made the case that meeting productivity will be enhanced by defining objectives for your meetings objective driven meetings. Now it’s time to show you how to write them.

There’s a big difference between saying what you’ll talk about at a meeting (an agenda item) and a meeting objective. A well-written meeting objective has two elements:
• It names what will be done during the meeting: and
• It points to the direction of what will happen after the meeting as a function of achieving that objective during the meeting.

This example shows the difference.
• Agenda item: Review the new social media use policy.
• Objective: Update the executive team on the new social media use policy and get a commitment to implement and enforce it throughout the organization.

Defining an Objective
When creating objectives for your meeting, answer these questions:
• I’m bringing this topic to this meeting because I want to be able to _______ after the meeting.
• During the meeting, I need to get __________ to make that happen.

Take the words you filled in the blanks, reverse the order (what happens during the meeting then what happens after the meeting) and you’ve got the elements of an objective that will make your meeting productive.

Build your Agenda Around the Objectives
Once you know what your objectives for the meeting are, then you can build the agenda around them.
• Depending on the complexity of the objective and the length of the meeting, you may include several agenda items to accomplish one objective.
• Before finalizing the agenda, review every agenda item to be sure it directly contributes to one of the objectives set for the meeting. If not, move it to another meeting or craft a new objective.

Taking these steps will increase meeting productivity and create value for your organization.

I would love to hear from you with feedback or questions about having objective-driven meetings.