Monday, July 26, 2021

The Dangers of a "Tight" Meeting Agenda

Source: Brooks Group

Everyone seems to complain about the number of meetings crowding managers' daily schedules.  Moreover, plenty of people express frustration at the inefficiency of many of these meetings.  Conventional wisdom suggests a number of prescriptions for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings.  For instance, many experts call for clearly defined meeting agendas that are communicated clearly to all participants.  However, managers need to be aware of the crucial risks associated with keeping meeting agendas too "tight" - i.e., regimented and structured.   

Yes, managers need to keep their teams on track.  Frequent diversions from the meeting agenda can be frustrating for everyone involved.  However, managers are not always aware of key issues and concerns in advance of a meeting.  A crowded, overly regimented agenda leaves no room for participants to surface problems, risks, or concerns.   Therefore, managers need to make room in each meeting for an opportunity for some unplanned discussion of issues about which leaders may not be aware.  

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