As much as our experience may tell us otherwise, meetings are an important business process that is integral to a much larger system of activities necessary to achieve success.  A welcome change from the past practice of “meeting monologues”, it seems that some meetings have recently become so collaborative that they border on a group of people randomly opinionating without channeling the discussions toward any actionable conclusion; except to have another meeting.

In order for meetings to be effective two things are critical:
•    Enable members to participate in an effective manner.
•    Maintain focus on the purpose and outcomes of the meeting rather than going off on tangents.

Both of these require preparation such as… 

1. Thinking through what you want to accomplish in the meeting before you create the agenda.
2. Determining the manner in which each agenda item will be facilitated.
3. Communicating the agenda and expectations to the members ahead of time.

These are important steps prior to getting a group of well-paid people in a room for a meeting.
For a concise, actionable resource for facilitating freaking fantastic meetings check out this download Get A GRIP on Meeting Facilitation.