Why do only 10% of meetings result in action?

9th March 2015

Our own surveys have repeatedly shown that just 10% of meetings result in action. Meaning 90% of meetings do not. Why is this and what can be done about it?

It is important to note that not all meetings are called with the intent of agreeing and committing to actions. Some meetings are part of a process that will lead to actions. Some meetings are for gathering information and data to make decisions. Some meetings are designed to ‘tell’ information as part of a communications cascade. Some meetings are team building events.

Even with the meetings that are not about creating and agreeing actions there are still a high number of meetings that are intended to be action oriented but turn out to not get to actions because other stuff gets in the way or agreements can’t be reached or the right people aren’t in the room to commit or the right data is missing to make decisions.

If you know your meeting is intended to arrive at actions, do your preparation, understand your outcomes and communicate to participants so you can actually get to actions. We use the phrase ‘go slow to go fast’, meaning take the time upfront to understand outcomes, identify the people and data needed and take steps to assure they are in the meeting, design your agenda to move the group through a clear and transparent process to reach your goals, and be clear that actions need commitments, owners and deadlines.

If you need help sorting out your meetings, why you are having them and clarifying how to get to actions, we can help. We work with the 10% to make their meetings better and we work with the 90% to understand how to improve meetings so they get to the right outcomes. Call us at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete our contact form.