Getting action after meetings

21st May 2012

There are situations where a little bit more meeting time is worth so much more than time outside a meeting. I experienced it recently in a meeting where I only had a 60 minute slot. This meant we agreed that people would send me their ideas afterward the meeting.

The irony is that it would have only taken 30 mninutes (max) of meeting time to elicit the ideas I needed. Obtaining the information after the meeting is taking weeks! I come across this difficulty when I am working with leadership teams in strategic visioning work. To do a good job we need around 2 days together, but this sometimes gets cut to 1 1/2 days. It then takes months to complete the work outside the meeting, that could have been done in an extra 3-4 hours in the meeting.

My reflection is that a group need to get enough momentum towards commitment in a meeting, for the actions to proceed effectively outside a meeting. This commitment is a function of the time spent in the meeting combined with familiarity of the subject, how well the group work together and how contentious the subject is i.e. how much of a challenge the work will be.

Action after a meeting = commitment in the meeting = T*G/C (i.e. Time in meeting x Group dynamic / Challenges in the workplace)