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The CEO Standard for Effective Meetings

The CEO Standard for Effective Meetings

Would it be helpful if your association's CEO attended key project meetings? Addressing his or her basic expectations in terms of timeliness and strategic focus just might make it more likely. asked two CEOs for their take on what makes meetings productive and successful. Nancy Knowlton, cofounder of SMART Technologies Inc., finds "it frustrating when I'm not told what the objective of the meeting is and when I don't see a clearly laid out agenda that's going to accomplish that objective."

Bob Hagerty, former CEO of Polycom Inc., frowns on lateness: "Don't come in late. It's disruptive and it's too expensive. People should be on time, be prepared and be ready to roll."

Both CEOs agree that ineffective meetings are a waste of time and resources. As Knowlton said, "a meeting without an agenda is a recipe for a waste of time."

From Hagerty's perspective, "action happens outside the meetings," so it's important to make them as efficient as possible. He suggested these seven basic steps for holding successful meetings:

  1. Stay focused on the main point.
  2. Stay in control of the meeting.
  3. Have an agenda.
  4. Discuss the important issues
  5. Make sure everyone is fully engaged.
  6. Get a decision.
  7. Get out.

Do your meetings measure up to this CEO's standards? When looked at from this perspective, perhaps all project meetings should be held at the CEO-level.

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