Measure Meetings With Action

We all have a love-hate relationship with meetings. While some of the greatest ideas and solutions come up in brainstorm meetings, we also lose most of our time in discussion without action. Ideally, meetings lead to realizations that result as action steps assigned to individuals with deadlines. Realistically, most meetings are fruitless.

As we measure the value of meetings, we must realize just how costly it is to interrupt the workflow of each team member, literally stop all progress, and consume all brainpower with one topic. Clearly, meetings must be planned sparingly. But most teams plan meetings as liberally as they buy coffee.Behance has come across a few habits of especially productive creative teams (from across industries) that we should all consider in our day-to-day work.

Beware of “Posting Meetings.”

  • A meeting to “share updates” should actually be a voice-mail or an e-mail. Rule of thumb: if you leave a meeting without action steps, then question the value of the meeting (especially if it is recurring).

Abolish Monday Meetings.

  • Gathering people for no other reason than “it’s Monday!” makes little-to-no sense, especially when trying to filter through the bloated post-weekend inbox. Automatic meetings end up becoming “posting” meetings.

End With A Review of Actions Captured.

  • At the end of a meeting, go around and review the action steps each person has captured. The exercise takes less than 30 seconds per person, and it almost always reveals a few action steps that were missed. The exercise also breeds a sense of accountability. If you state YOUR action steps in front of YOUR colleagues, then YOU are likely to follow through.

And when meetings end without any action steps, it is your responsibility to speak up and question their value. Just don’t plan a meeting to discuss it.–

This tip was written by Scott Belsky, Behance Team. Explore moretips, and check out Behance’s guest postings for small businesses trying to make ideas happen, hosted at American Express’ OpenForum.

More insights on: Action Method, Meetings
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