|Dear Meeting Guru,
"I'm having trouble getting results from
decisions that are made in meetings. A big problem is that we have
great meetings but no one knows how to follow-up and who is responsible
to do the tasks. I know that our meeting processes have to change
for us to start getting more results from our meetings. Do you have
any suggestions for us to begin on down the right path?"
It's important to assign tasks as they arise during a meeting. For example,
if action needs to be taken on a particular issue, the meeting leader should
immediately ask the appropriate person to follow up. If any one of the participants
could complete the task, simply recruit a volunteer by asking, "Who wants
to be responsible for this?" It's amazing how quickly people will volunteer
when it's being recognized publicly in front of their peers or, even better,
During the meeting, the scribe should note each action item, who's responsible,
the priority level and deadline. In the last few minutes of the meeting, review
the action-items list to ensure everyone is clear on who's responsible for what
and by when.
After the meeting, a summary e-mail should be sent to all of the participants.
Include a copy of the meeting notes and the action-items list. Now that the
deadlines have been defined and are common knowledge, it's more likely that
meeting participants will follow up on them.
At the beginning of the next meeting, the first thing you should do is discuss
the action-items list from the previous meeting. Take a couple of minutes for
each person on the list to summarize the status of the action item. Doing this
at each and every meeting will help your group complete the action items assigned.
As Confucius once
said, "If your words are not humble, it will be difficult to put them into
action." In other words, it's easy to make a big promise, fail to carry
it through and hope it's been forgotten by others. Making a smaller, more realistic
statement and carrying it through always puts you in a better light. After all,
a promise means nothing if it isn't realized. If reasonable action items are
assigned during your meetings, there's no reason why the participants shouldn't
be capable of completing them. Clearing up the line of communication so that
everyone understands who's responsible for what should help.
may good meeting karma always be with you!