Does meeting preparation add value to the final results?

seprator
20November 2015
Katherine Woods

Katherine Woods

Partner
This post is authored by Katherine Woods, Partner. Full bio →
Katherine Woods

For some, planning for meetings is a last-minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants process that might result in an agenda or meeting plan. We believe very strongly, based on our collective experience, that every minute of meeting planning has a high return value during the meeting and results in robust agreements and actions.

We have found that most of our clients are way too busy to do the depth of meeting prep we do for each meeting we facilitate. While some are themselves facilitators they may not be able to focus on the prep that will bring the robustness they tell us they want, and may, indeed, not have the perspective to be able to see the overall process needed to achieve their stated goals for the meeting. Also, we recognise that our clients want and need to be in content and engaged in the conversations they need to have with colleagues. Being in content and managing the group process is challenging. Doing one or the other is hard enough.

Whenever possible, and when the various factors align, we pretty much require that we interview meeting participants, or a good percentage of them for larger meetings. We are currently prepping a leadership meeting for a multinational corporation. We have interviewed the entire team as a way to learn what they want to achieve, what they see as the challenges for the meeting, to start building energy and focus on the meeting and to build confidence in us as neutral facilitators. Here is some feedback we have received from the meeting sponsor:

Really encouraging to hear the feedback from your prep calls, I am so pleased to have asked you to support as it makes meetings much more productive and tailored to our needs. Plus, this is a key time for us, and this group is pivotal to our success in the long term. — Sue Hudson, Senior Marketing Director-EMEA

The preparation for this leadership meeting is already having impact that will feed into the meeting itself and help delegates focus, access their own energy, participate more fully, and engage the agreements and outcomes in a way that we know will result in high-quality action.

Planning for your meetings is a key to their success. We are happy to speak with you about your upcoming meetings, large or small, and how preparation can transform your results. Give us a call +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or tell us more about your meeting planning needs via our contact form. We look forward to the conversation.

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