7 Principles of the Modern Meeting

I was thinking of writing about the Modern Meeting – Planning Stage but I need some more time to complete the post.  Instead, I’m going to list the 7 Principles of the Modern Meeting that Al Pittampalli lists in his book, Read This Before Our Next Meeting because I believe these are the best rules to follow:

  1. supports a decision that has already been made.
    • The Modern Meeting isn’t about finding a decision. I decision is supposed to have been  made before a meeting can take place.  Then the actual meeting is about that decision and how to move forward.
  2. moves fast and ends on schedule.
    • Time your meetings, move fast, and end on time because meetings are about getting work done and moving forward with the decision.
  3. limits the number of attendees.
    • Limit the number of attendees by not inviting people who will not contribute.  Attendees need to have the freedom to decline meetings if they feel they can either not come prepared or if they have nothing to contribute.  Many people attend meetings because they feel like there job depends on it.  Meeting organizers and companies need to remove this obligation from their company culture.
  4. rejects the unprepared.
    • Reject the unprepared by refusing to allow people to show up to meetings unprepared and enforcing consequences if people show up unprepared.  Agenda’s and prework must be completed before the meeting.  Attendees need to realize that being unprepared may mean that you will not be invited back to the meeting.
  5. produces committed action plans.
    • Each meeting needs to produce a committed action plan where one person is the owner of each next action and they’re committed to complish this action and report back to the group.
  6. refuses to be informational. Reading memos is mandatory.
    • The Modern Meeting is not an information session, reading memos is manadatory so every participant can contribute to the meeting and time is not wasted by educating attendees about the contents of the memo.
  7. works only alongside a culture of brainstorming.
    • Lastly, the Modern Meeting works along a culture of brainstorming. Brainstorming is the anti-meeting and the two should not be intertwined.  Meetings are about the decision we already made.  Brainstorming is about the creating of the ideas that could eventually lead to decisions.  That could eventually lead to meetings to execute on those decisions.

In another blog post, maybe my next post, I’ll go over Al’s 10 ground rules of brainstorming.