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Sam Davidson's blog

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The Only Agenda You Need for Every Meeting Ever

Meetings suck. I try to go to as few as possible. If a meeting is called and as best I can tell the only point is to give status updates, then I won't go. Some may argue that the point of meetings is to build camaraderie and get to know one another. I've never seen this happen well around a big board room. If you want to do that, go to lunch, go camping, go on a walk - just go. Staying in the office and building teamwork rarely works.

If I call a meeting, I always use the following agenda. You can personalize it for your specific needs. If these three things don't happen, then you don't need to meet.


Facing a problem or big decision at work? Use a meeting to discuss what the issue is and solicit input. Some of this can be done via email, but meeting lets you hear from people verbally (as well as gauge emphasis and body language). It also allows for spontaneous conversation and up-to-date ideas and information. Use meetings to discuss the issue at hand.


Make a decision. Sometimes, you'll need to retreat away after the meeting and reflect on all the input before you decide. But, forcing yourself to make a decision in the meeting (or at least arrive at a preliminary consensus) makes the time more useful and the situation more urgent (which should generate a better discussion). Meetings are for deciding something.


Whatever you decide, put in place a plan of action to get it done. Assign tasks. Determine responsibility. Announce deadlines. Put the wheels of action in motion while everyone is in the same room and their focus is fresh since the topic and action steps are in the forefront of their minds. The time for doing is now.

If your meeting agendas don't look like this, either stop meeting until they do or revamp them so that your meetings can be more productive.

What do you do to make your meetings more productive?

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