Would a 400% Increase in Meeting Productivity Help You?

By David Rodgers


In the last 35 years, the biggest key I have observed in getting the most of meeting time has nothing at all to do with facilitation skills or meeting techniques. It revolves around one simple element; how clearly the people in the meeting understand the “desired outcome” of any topic being discussed.

Without a stated desired outcome…

  • Almost anything is worthy of discussion
  • Even the best leader as trouble keeping the group on track
  • Decisions and conclusions are difficult to achieve
  • The same topics keep coming up on the agenda but don’t get resolved

Once people are clear about the desired outcome…

  • Everyone contributes to keeping the discussion on track
  • It becomes easy to identify when the discussion is complete
  • Next actions become clear and doable

The challenge today is…

People forget or have lost the ability to present a clear desired outcome prior to a group discussion. Instead people use meetings to:

  • Share information or status
  • Bring up an issue people weren’t prepared to discuss
  • Promote their pet project or position

All of the above can be handled in more effective ways off line. Our meeting time is a powerful opportunity to discuss and resolve issues that require cross-functional support or input. Groups that I have worked with that have transitioned to this an “Outcome Driven” approach to meetings often report getting double the results in half the meeting time.

Is there anyone out there that couldn’t benefit from a
400% increase in their meeting productivity?