Great meetings come from great agendas. Your Latin teacher would have preferred agendae, but that’s another discussion.
Give specific assignments. “Charlie, please research three hotels near SEA-TAC for spring, 2014. We’ll need a conference room for a hundred people and five breakout rooms for thirty folks apiece. Room availability and location are more important than price, but price is a factor. You’ll have six minutes to report in the planning meeting. Be ready with a recommendation.”
Identify the time hacks and stick to them. Write “Charlie: SEA-TAC Hotels (6:00)” on the agenda. (Sticking to the time hacks is a learned skill; it may take a few meetings to get used to it.)
Coordinate, publish, and distribute the agenda before the meeting. Get feedback on the agenda. “Is this correct?” “Do you need anything else?”
Coordinate, publish, and distribute an assignments list after the meeting. Use the assignments list to follow the tasks and prepare the next meeting’s agenda.
Bad meetings eat money and destroy morale. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Next week: Last of the series. Running the meeting.