Are you having meetings that go nowhere? Join the club, A lot of people are having those kind of meetings today. We’d been through a year of meetings that are online, rushed, pushed, too many. Now we’re getting back to face-to-face meetings and I think might be a good time to brush up on a key part of having good meetings.

A meeting from that’s going nowhere, to me, is one of these meetings that have productive dialogue, good decisions, everyone’s aligned, and you adjourn. You come back next week. Nothing’s happened on any of the decisions. They have gone nowhere.

I’m going to share with you a tool, that I learned about years ago, I’m not exactly sure who shared it with me, but it’s an old school way of taking care of this problem.

My suggestion is this.  Don’t have a meeting where decisions are made without this tool. It’s called the “Who, What, When” Tool.  Very simply at the end of the meeting, or as you’re going through the meeting, the master note taker, in the “What” column, captures the various decisions or actions that have been agreed to.  Then you go through each one of the actions, and decide “Who” is the person that owns that action and is going to make sure it gets done.

Next, ask each “Who” to set a deadline for “When” they’re going to have that action completed or report progress.

After this is all filled out, you make copies of it for everyone in the meeting and distribute them right away. In the old days you would run to the copier and do this.  Today you scan it with your cell phone, , and then send a copy to everyone.  Again, you want to get this into everyone’s hands as soon as you can.  The next time you meet, everyone pulls out their copy and reports in on the “What” as the first agenda item.

So that’s the tool.  Here’s a link for downloading it.

As you can see, Simple is better, low tech that is even better.

Download the tool. Good luck.

Next week, we’ll have another one.