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Renowned leadership consultant, Peter Drucker once said, "meetings are by definition, a concession to deficient organization." Yet, surprisingly, in a recent survey by Bain & Company, it's found that 15% of an organization's collective time is spent in meetings. For C-level executives, such as CEOs and COOs, the figure can surge to over 50%, making Meeting Facilitation and Management an explicit yet underappreciated skill in surgical decision-making and transformative leadership.

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Flevy Management Insights: Meeting Facilitation/Management


Renowned leadership consultant, Peter Drucker once said, "meetings are by definition, a concession to deficient organization." Yet, surprisingly, in a recent survey by Bain & Company, it's found that 15% of an organization's collective time is spent in meetings. For C-level executives, such as CEOs and COOs, the figure can surge to over 50%, making Meeting Facilitation and Management an explicit yet underappreciated skill in surgical decision-making and transformative leadership.

The Value of Effective Meetings

Meetings, when done correctly, play a vital role in fostering collaboration, sparking innovation, and driving strategic alignment. However, poorly managed meetings can lead to wasted time, suppressed morale, and sub-optimal decision-making. Success lies in understanding and applying the principles of effective Meeting Management.

Meetings Are Not a One-Size-Fits-All Phenomenon

Every meeting has its unique objective: information dissemination, decision-making, brainstorming, etc. Understanding the purpose of a session profoundly informs its structure. Techniques suited for Operational Excellence discussions might not lend well into a discussion on Digital Transformation or Strategy Development. Hence, adaptive Meeting Facilitation ultimately drives efficiency and productivity.

Leading with The Right Frame

The frame of a meeting sets the tone, scope, and participant engagement - this includes having a tightly knit agenda, the appropriate stakeholders, and crystal-clear objectives. An effective frame addresses and anticipates the situational dynamics of a meeting, ensuring smooth transitions from one agenda item to another facilitating for Strategic Planning or Business Transformation discussions.

Shape the Conversation

In a meeting, it is quintessential to craft the narrative and guide conversations strategically. Top-notch facilitators shift the focus from a presenter-led environment to a discussion-centric one, turning monologues into meaningful dialogues, allowing for richer insights, informed decisions, and pronounced team alignment. A cardinal prong in Change Management involves shaping the conversations and steering them in the right direction.

Embody the Role of an Effective Facilitator

The conductor of the meeting should display strong facilitation skills, fostering an atmosphere of balanced participation, managing conflicts constructively, and ensuring that the group stays on-task. Robust facilitation fosters Culture and Leadership development tying back to the cohesiveness and ethos of an organization.

Wrap Up with Next Steps

A common oversight in meeting management is the absence of an actionable summary, losing the momentum generated during the meet. The meeting facilitator must always wrap up the session by summarizing decisions taken, actions assigned, and tentative timelines. This practice is a key trait in Performance Management, preserving the continuity and closure of one meeting to the next.

Master the Art of Virtual Meetings

The advent of the digital age and recent pandemic has only accentuated the need for effective virtual meeting management. Understanding the unique dynamics of virtual meetings, creating the right virtual environment, and leveraging technology can significantly enhance the efficacy of remote meeting facilitation, playing into the broader scheme of Digital Transformation.

Embrace the Role of Technology

Technology can act as a force multiplier in effective meeting management. Leveraging appropriate platforms for scheduling, sharing documents, recording minutes or using AI to identify key patterns in meeting dynamics can greatly enhance the overall Meeting Facilitation effectiveness.

Lastly, let's remember that continuous improvement is at the heart of any effective management practice. Seeking feedback, learning from past meetings, and continuously optimizing your meeting facilitation tactics will allow you to drive your organization towards effective decision making and ultimately, long-term success.

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Explore related management topics: Continuous Improvement Decision Making Meeting Facilitation Meeting Management Workshops Virtual Teams Feedback Consulting Training Creativity Sales Listening




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