As managers, we all need to be better planners by making sure our team is part of the process and buys into the plan. As part of our research on how to hold better planning meetings, we looked into various industry studies and chatted with this guy on the bus to land on these top 5 tactics to produce better outcomes.
Yes, Zoom and Teams made getting teams together a mouse click away, but research has shown you're more likely to reach a desired outcome when you plan in person. For example, according to Entrepreneur you are ten times more likely to close a deal when you meet face to face. That's HUGE. Fact is, humans are social animals and its often in the “soft edges” of meetings that real breakthrough ideas spark and interpersonal chemistry makes the sum greater than the parts.
On average, a person looks at their smartphone 220 times a day. That can be distracting and frickin' annoying when group focus is the name of the game. But instead of banning devices altogether, let folks know you've scheduled short breaks throughout the meeting for responding to emails, texts or Tinder messages.
Sure, it’s easy to go to the office, but a recent study from the Moller Institute found that almost 70% of professionals prefer planning meetings offsite where there is less distraction, more privacy and a new perspective from the fresh environment. But don’t do planning sessions in spaces like coffee shops or downtown nightclubs, where distractions are high, privacy is low and there's a lineup for the bathroom. Try a by-the-hour, on-demand meeting solution (like, I dunno, Just Boardrooms?) to find a spot that fits your needs, suits your style and leaves your guests like so impressed.
Make sure your attendees know the agenda and their roles, and are assigned any homework well in advance of the meeting, so when they get there they're not like, "What is this meeting even about?" It's also great to give each person a role and responsibility for the session to keep them engaged and the meeting focused and efficient.
If you’re running the meeting, especially if you’re the senior manager and have jazz hands, create lots of room for others to contribute. Don't let your agenda dissuade others from putting forth their own ideas, opinions or recipes for the best guacamole in town. Most plans fizzle when a leader creates an echo chamber, forcing others to do something because I said so, rather than genuinely buying into it. It takes a village to create a successful plan.
Q4 is often the busiest of the busy times of year for senior leaders working on next fiscal’s plans. Make the most of your planning by adopting a kitten as well as some of these proven strategies, used by Fortune 500 CEOs to start up entrepreneurs, to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition.
Now go forth and just book a boardroom.
The Just Boardrooms Team