Imagine regularly going to team meetings that seem like a pivot point; meetings where work gets done and, when they’re over, everyone knows exactly what they will do next to make progress. You can have more productive meetings like this by building your agenda around well-defined objectives.

Don’t worry. your regular meeting activities will still happen (information shared, problems/solutions deliberated, decisions made), but each agenda item will be in service of clear objectives. That focus makes all the difference in the productivity of your meeting.

Good meeting objectives tell you two things:

  • what you will achieve during the meeting and
  • what actions you will take after the meeting.

Increase Meeting Productivity – Look forward.

Productive Project Team Meetings

A project manager’s (PM) job is to not only track what’s going on with the project but also where it needs to go next to reach the goal.

  • During most project team meetings, the PM and team give updates on tasks and milestones that have been accomplished. That’s all good and necessary information.
  • Using good meeting objectives, however, the PM can actively propel the project forward by directing attention to what needs to happen to move toward the goal.
  • When this happens, no one is left guessing what to do next and they maintain focus on the goal.

Productive Executive Team Meetings

In executive team meetings, the impact of the meeting is greater – achieving objectives with a “what’s next” emphasis will set a trajectory for the organization’s growth.

  • Again, the meeting activities look the same as every other executive meeting: briefings on new initiatives and policies, financial updates, and decisions being made.
  • With objectives that direct the team to growth and mission achievement, the team engages in these activities knowing what’s happening during the meeting will impact operations when they leave the room.

For example, you might find this on an executive agenda: Review the new social media use policy for employees.

  • Think about how differently people would respond to that agenda item if this objective were stated at the top of that meeting’s agenda: Update executive team on new social media use policy and get a commitment to implement and enforce it throughout the organization.

In my next blog, I’ll show you how to write good meeting objectives that lead to more productive meetings.