Outputs from a meeting

Continuing to set up the framework for the book today. I realise when I’m writing that I will probably need more specific examples along the way but those will have to come later. The text for today is about the importance of deciding on what you want to bring from the meeting.

The goal is what you aim for, and the outputs from the meeting are how you think the people in this room can contribute to that goal. Most likely the meeting will not reach the goal, but it will take a significant step towards it. If we continue the mountain analogy, you will not climb all the way to the peak, you might not even start climbing during this meeting, but you might plan on what you are going to pack or decide where your base camp will be.

So what do you want to bring from this meeting?
• 20 ideas on how to improve our product quality.
• Prioritized list of ideas on how to improve.
• A clear decision on which solution the project will use.
• A new vision for our company.
• That you both say that you understand one another’s point of view. You don’t have to agree, but you should understand.
• Proposal for a new strategy that the board will make a decision on next week.
• A sketch of how the teams in the organization are connected.
• List of actions the team will make to improve productivity.

A meeting should only have one goal, but it can, of course, have many outputs. But do not go overboard and expect too much of a shorter meeting, especially if you want something concrete. It usually takes a lot less time to produce a list of 10 ideas than to agree on one idea. And it takes even longer to create an implementation plan and assign responsibilities.