• Tony Richards

12 Big Ideas For Better Meetings

We all need to do a better job of constantly and consistently reviewing and tweaking our business meetings. Elite level executives make sure meetings drive collaboration, innovation, ideas and most of all, actions to move the needle. We must not be doing as good of a job as we could, because I continually still hear that meeting members do not like meetings. The get overwhelmed with the feelings of frustration at the thought of another meeting.


As I consistently remind my clients, leadership is work. Having consistently good, productive meetings is part of that diligent work. You have to set aside time to think through, plan and engineer a meeting that works well for every participant. To help you along, I have listed here twelve of my big ideas on how you can improve your meetings.


  1. Ask yourself, does this meeting really need to happen?

  2. Select participants wisely: Do I really need every one of these people in the meeting? (focus comes from elimination, not addition)

  3. Provide a well thought out agenda to participants (with any explanation that helps them prep) in advance

  4. Clearly determine and communicate the intended meeting outcomes so that participants understand the purpose and benefits of meeting

  5. If attendees are required to review information in advance, send it to them prior to the meeting, do not waste time reviewing documents during the meeting

  6. Establish standard meeting etiquette that you use consistently. Start and end on time and give everyone the opportunity to contribute something. Make sure core values are observed, etc. If they are not contributing to the meeting outcome consistently, review #2 again.

  7. Instill an action-driven culture. Ask for next steps and options on forward movement to align with meeting outcomes you said you wanted in the agenda.

  8. Document assigned actions and the person or team accountable for each action; everyone needs to leave with meaningful things to accomplish.

  9. Communicate when actions must be completed, follow up on each action to ensure completion.

  10. Have someone take notes: Ideally a support person so the CEO or Executive Team can think rather than write or type.

  11. Encourage collaboration but stay focused, otherwise meetings will always take up more time than allotted.

  12. Recap actions at the end and then send a summary to everyone within half an hour.


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