Drafting meeting agendas is not for everyone. Or certainly not for anyone who is looking for a short way out of organising meetings. There is a kind of skill and art required to make the agenda comprehensive and to the point at the same time. In the length of the document it is also important to not get carried away from the topic. The more the number of people involved in the making of the agenda the less biased it will be, so a group of senior managers should ideally sit together and pitch in.
A few other things to remember are mentioned below.
Goals of the Company and Goals of the Individual
One of the challenges that come upon managers drafting the agenda is how much weightage need to be given to each topic. Deciding on this can be quite a task and lead to disagreements because each manager is likely to see their area of expertise as the most important. For instance a marketing manager will stress more on sales while an HR manager will lay more importance on recruiting, for the simple reason that a department’s progress will mean promotion for the manager.
Good managers will not just look at short term positives of the agendas they put forward but see that long term benefit of their proposal. Most people in the meeting can see through hidden motives anyway. If the managers’ concern is genuine and for the better of the company, most people will vouch for it any which way. Managers shouldn’t blow things out of proportion only to make a mark in the meeting.
Putting Forward an Agenda for the Real Benefit
First off you’ll need to put all your biases aside and approach the agenda with a calm and cool disposition. That is the only way to get some effective work done. This is a very important process in teamwork. It is okay to let one person lead the meeting as long as he is bringing original content to the table, is able to voice most people’s concern and in general approaches the whole situation with zero biases.
The second step forward to put everything together. You’ll need to make sense of all the voices that are pitching in. If two issues seem to connect in some way, consolidate them into one point. This is necessary for the understanding of any third person who steps in to get an overview. Once you have put the points in order, step back to see the fluff that you can eliminate from the agenda. Remove all things you see as unnecessary or repetitive.
- Have all the points been listed in the order of importance?
- What kind of change are you looking at? Will this agenda be able to meet those needs?
- How will the agenda benefit the company?
It is of prime importance that you ensure your meeting has added some value to each department and benefited the company in general, even if in a small way.