TRIPLE III TIME: The Value of a Solid Agenda
How many times have you attended a meeting for work, for community, for church, for school or even for family …and the absence, length or weakness of a solid agenda made the event less that productive? The Value of a Solid Agenda in all of these situations is demonstrated in light of its use as a facilitation “tool” that ensures all participants leave with a confident sense of progress. So maybe it is long past the time to offer a TRIPLE III TIME message totally dedicated to developing great agendas!
The most important component in building a good agenda is to clearly decide: WHAT DO YOU WANT? Attendees want to know why they are there (i.e. purpose) and what they are deciding on (i.e. goal). Next it is necessary to determine a “structure of priority” for your WANTS. This means you need to rank the WHAT DO YOU WANT? items and decide what item is most important…down to which one is least. These actions will help you focus the discussions and thereby streamline the meeting conduct.
Along with trying to better focus and streamline the meeting, the agenda should adapt to the ever-shortening attention spans of people. Try to establish a set timeframe for each major topic of discussion/action. Whether its 15 minutes or one (1) hour, setting decision-making time limits is just good leadership. Lastly, as has been suggested and exemplified in many agenda-building situations: SIMPLICITY MATTERS!
One last personal suggestion: Don’t be afraid to delegate and share the agenda-building responsibility. Think about it as a learning opportunity…a chance to empower…practice prioritizing…and the sense of positive leadership partnering. Yes, extra time and patience would be the cost…but I promise the long-term return-on-investment would be unlimited.