Holding a regular weekly meeting with key players in your business is, self-evidently, a great idea. It gets important people round a table together regularly, giving everyone the chance to catch up, and make sure they’re all pulling in the same direction: unless you share thoughts and ideas regularly, it’s all too easy for people to start finding it difficult to see beyond their own department their own team and their own challenges, forgetting that they’re contributing to a whole business!
Unfortunately there are drawbacks to go with it: unless you keep a tight rein on these meetings they can take up a lot of time, with any other business sessions sprawling out longer and longer, as people lose focus and simply chat. People can also simply check out of the meeting mentally, even as they continue to extend. Routine is important but it breeds familiarity which breeds boredom.
You need to keep people engaged in order to get results, and you need results to drive your business forward.
Shake Up the Setting
Changing the backdrop to the meeting can be a great way of making people sit up and pay attention. If you want to hire a meeting room, London has plenty of possibilities and this allows you to put the same people in a different room, which can break the cycle of boredom and overfamiliarity and force them to engage. This is especially worthwhile if you need to raise an important point in an otherwise routine meeting and you need people to be at their best.
If you don’t want to hire a meeting room, and don’t need any additional facilities – like a screen for displaying a deck for example – you could simply opt for taking your attendees out for a coffee in a nearby café. This is as effective in creating novelty, and cheaper as well.
Agendas and Consequences
Setting the agenda is important, so you can be sure you will cover all the points you need to. But if you always dictate what will be discussed people will feel disengaged and begin to switch off – or raise the points they want to discuss, regardless of their relevancy!
Take suggestions for your agenda points, so people feel they have a stake in the meeting. If what people suggest isn’t suitable for the meeting, you can let them know that in advance, and feed back to them with a more appropriate juncture they can raise their concerns.
These meetings should also have consequences. If you’ve set targets, and tasks in the meeting you need to be sure to come back to them and seeing what the results are. If these tasks are never followed up on, the meeting feels less and less important and people aren’t motivated to act on it.