Meetings form the foundation of corporate life and account for a large percentage of our time spent at work. Research found that executives spend an average of 23 hours a week in the boardroom. CEOs spend 72% of their time in 37 meetings a week on average, according to another study.
What can we do to optimise our time and improve efficiency in the boardroom? Let’s consider the following questions:
1. How many seats are we saving for the meeting?
The number of attendees we include at a meeting is important. Matching the size of the meeting to involve key stakeholders can allow everyone to contribute more productively while keeping the agenda tight.
The “8-18-1800” rule is one method we can use to help determine how many attendees to invite for different meeting purposes:
- 8 is the optimal number for problem-solving or collective decision-making
- 18 and is the ideal number for brainstorming situations
- If the goal is to rally the workforce, up to 1,800 people or more is a good number to have
2. How long should meetings run?
The objectives of the meeting will decide how long the meeting should run. Here are some duration guidelines to consider when setting up different types of meetings with your teams:
|Meeting type||Ideal meeting length|
|Regular team meeting||15 to 30 minutes|
|One-on-one meeting||30 minutes to 60 minutes|
|Retrospective meeting||30 minutes every week|
|Brainstorming meeting||40 minutes to 60 minutes|
|Strategy meeting||60 minutes to 90 minutes|
|Decision-making meeting||A few hours, up to a full day depending on the decision|
As a general guideline, a short meeting is preferable to a long meeting—this way, the motivation to have an efficient meeting is greater, while allowing the flexibility to schedule another meeting if needed.
3. Do meetings end with a clear action plan?
The conclusion is the most crucial part of the meeting. Remember to leave the last few minutes of every meeting to discuss the next steps, with the roles and responsibilities of key attendees and timelines clearly defined.
Ensuring that all discussions end with an action plan promotes ownership and accountability. We can assign the meeting facilitator with the role of outlining the action plan at the end of the meeting to help everyone work towards clear outcomes more efficiently.
Unleash the potential of meetings for your organisation
Productive meetings are conducive to unlocking new ideas and insights from employees. Creating opportunities for staff to connect over a cup of coffee encourages conversations that could potentially uncover new business solutions.
More importantly, meetings encourage consensus-building, enabling different units within the organisation to grow as one cohesive team. Planning ahead for meetings enables any organisation to maximise productivity and operate more seamlessly in the future.