The Modern Meeting Principle 1: Supports a Decision that has Already Been Made

I’m going to do a week long series about the 7 Principles of Modern Meetings, which come from Al Pittampalli’s excellent book on the topic, “Read This Before Our Next Meeting.” Everyday I’ll write something brief about each principle.  Today, I’ll be talking about Principle 1: Supports a Decision that has Already Been Made.

The Modern Meeting supports a decision that has already been made.

The Modern Meeting is based on decisions, without decisions there can be no Modern Meetings. They are not discussions about a topic.

The process is based on people making decisions beforehand.  Decision Makers are wasting too much time, in the meeting, discussing the pre-decision items.  Pre-decision input should be gathered before a meeting is scheduled through personal one-on-one conversations.

The Modern Meeting can be used to debate serious objections, better alternatives, or proposed changes, but you need to make a decision and own the outcome.

There is a bias for action and it leans toward speed. It focuses on the only two activities worth convening for: Conflict and Coordination.


Make your decisions and stand up for them but don’t be stubborn.  The Modern Meeting is about dealing with conflict.  Discuss the conflict and keep an open mind to other ideas.  You don’t need to be a pushover but all ideas should be considered.  All ideas are the accepted because the Modern Meeting welcomes dissent.

The only exception is if you are unwilling to change your decision.  If you’re unwilling to modify your decision then don’t have a Modern Meeting.  Move forward with your decision.


Decisions can lead to action but they won’t lead anywhere unless they are executed.  To execute on a decision there could be a need for a lot of coordination between teams, departments, division of labor, differing scenarios, and collaborative problem solving.

Tomorrow, I’ll write about Principle 2: Moves fast and ends on schedule.

This blog post is from the Seven Principles of Modern Meetings which can be found in this great book:

Pittampalli, Al (2011-08-03). Read This Before Our Next Meeting (p. 40). AmazonEncore. Kindle Edition.