10 Simple Rules for Better Meetings

Put 5 minutes in your calendar and dial in. It’s time to meet up for the top 10 simple rules for better meetings.

Nov 18, 2019

Logitech, Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Liminal Collective team hosted a meeting “moonshot” - an unprecedented gathering of experts from diverse backgrounds with the objective of radically improving meetings. We shared more about the experience here.

Like many topics, surf the net a bit and you’ll walk away with too much advice and little idea of where the truth lies. We like to cut through the myths to get to the solid science (like we did with running). This time we worked with Christopher Lortie, Joseph Allen, Matt Abrahams and Scott Wharton to digest more than 400 big-picture research studies on the topic of meetings and synthesize the insights down to this paper, entitled: Ten simple rules for meaningful meetings.

So put 5 minutes in your calendar and dial in. It’s time to meet up for the top 10 simple rules for better meetings:

1. Experiment with meetings

For improved productivity and well-being, leaders and participants should experiment. Duration, frequency, venue, team size, timing, and technology...new ways of meeting and the novelty make a difference.

2. Define meetings

Meaning and purpose are important both during and outside the meeting environment. People need a common language and understanding of why we’re meeting.

3. Use technology

Technology makes meetings more efficient, effective and engaging.

4. Avoid drift

Just like sport, meetings need flow. They need to engage.

5. Build larger teams for some meetings

It’s not necessarily the case that bigger meetings make for less effective meetings. More minds make for more creativity. You just need to build in ways to facilitate the meeting as group size increases.

6. Embrace diversity

Build a team, not an organization. It is important that people from across the organization are represented, and given the chance to participate.

7. Build commitment to the meeting process.

We meet a lot, often. That means the well-being of its participants is important. For the social exchange of a meeting to be successful, participants need to feel at ease with the meeting process.

8. Plan the design of meetings

Experiment with the social and physical configurations of your meeting design. Where you are and how you meet requires experimentation - see #1.

9. Use leadership

The leader can make or break a meeting. And there should usually be only one. She or he sets the tone and drives the decision-making.

10. Plan for creativity and capture these outcomes

Creativity is likely an important part of your meeting. New ideas need to be generated by a maximum of people, captured and shared.

There you have it. Meeting concluded.

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