What I'm about to share with you is tried and tested. Running meetings this way will save you huge amounts of time and money and lead to greater productivity, so they're worth taking notice of.
1. Always have an agenda, with a fixed start and finish time and understand the purpose of the meeting and what outcomes it should produce. Only invite people who can actively contribute. Use a timer to end the meeting when scheduled. Make someone in the meeting responsbile for keeping to time.
2. Have no more than six items on the agenda and NEVER have a.o.b. it's a complete waste of time and is always hijacked by someone who has a personal axe to grind
3. Have someone take note of Action Points with three simple headings: What: this is the action. Who: this is the person or people who are responsible for making sure the action happens and will be accountable at the next meeting on reporting back on progress. By When: a specific date when the action will be complete (you can use by the end of May for example or 16th May, depending on the nature of the action). These action points are written up with 24 hours of the meeting and distirubuted to everyone who has an action and who was at the meeting
4. If it's a short meeting (less than half and hour)- stand up. Don't get comfortable. Make sure you have rules of the road e.g. one at a time, no idea is bad idea etc
5. Have a facilitator or chair who calls time on discussions and who directs the tone and pace of the meeting
That's it. Very simple, very straight forward and easy to implement.
The next time you're in a meeting that seems pointless, to go on forever and be an utter waste of time, how about suggest a new way of doing things so stuff gets done.
For other practical ways of improving life in business, contact Rebecca on 07734 934084 or email@example.com or visit www.rebeccainspires.com