Is The Boardroom Dead?

boardroom

It certainly is becoming more of a bored room than the productive work space it once used to be. As leaders of teams of brilliant minds, we need to know when it’s necessary to call a meeting, and when to simply make a phone call to save their precious time.

So what calls for a meeting?

Can You Justify It In a Few Words?

Can you justify your reason for calling a meeting in just a few words, maybe a sentence? If not, it’s probably not a necessary meeting.

All meetings should be goal oriented, and there should be an outcome that you’re hoping to gain. If you realise there isn’t a good enough reason to call the meeting, then it’s better to arrange a phone call or video chat to keep up to date without wasting any time.

Does Everyone Need To Have a Say In a Decision?

Do you need to come to a consensus on a particular decision? Getting everyone in the same room is probably the best way to do that. When it comes to pitching ideas and bouncing ideas off each other, meeting face to face always works best.

Ongoing Projects

When it comes to lengthy projects, getting individuals together to ‘get on the same page’ is necessary. It might not be necessary to meet every week, or even bi-weekly, but make sure you’re getting together regularly enough to keep any confusion out of the picture.

Managing Employees

When you’re overseeing a bunch of people, it’s good to see that they’re all staying up to date with their work. Micromanaging is never productive, but making sure you set up standing meetings with each of your employees means everyone stays on their toes.

Weekly standing meetings give you a chance to review the work that’s been done and set goals for the coming week.

Important Clients

Important clients that are either giving you a lot of work, or have given you the opportunity to extend the working relationship, deserve face to face meetings to keep them updated with the progress of various projects. Pitches, progress meetings and conclusive meetings are all part of keeping your clients in the loop, and are best done in person.

Gain Clarity

When a bunch of people work on a project together, but each works independently, confusion can often fog the way. If this is the case, calling a meeting to gain some clarity and get everyone’s input is a good idea.

When The Problems Are Snowballing

You know what it’s like! When one problem leads to another, and they all start snowballing out of control. Calling a meeting is a necessary evil in this instance to put a stop to the problems that keep building up.

Emergencies

Emergencies need to be prioritized over any regular meeting. They may be called on the spur of the moment, but employees are expected to prioritize them.

It’s clear the the boardroom isn’t quite dead, however in this day and age it is slightly overused. Make sure you’re calling meetings with a clear objective, so that you’re never wasting time.

Meeting With a Purpose: Preparing For Fast & Effective Sessions

We’ve all been there; your boss calls a meeting that puts everyone half to sleep with his lack of direction. Rambling on and on about nonsensical things that have nothing to do with anyone, and everyone is thinking “why the hell am I here?”

Meetings with a lack of direction are a waste of time and a waste of company resources. Wasting the time of your employees and is not only frustrating for them but a waste of money for you. So try to keep meetings focused on important matters, and of course productive.

Let’s take a look at some guidelines you can use to hold meetings with a purpose:

Clear Objectives

Setting clear objectives is more than just handing out an agenda before the meeting, it’s sticking to it.

Make sure that a meeting is absolutely necessary before dragging your employees through a tedious and time-consuming process. How do you know whether a meeting is necessary?

Before calling a meeting, decide whether the topic is something that can be discussed over project platforms such as Slack, or can be dealt with in an email. If the answer is yes, then don’t waste anyone’s time by calling a meeting. Refer to the image below to decide whether it’s time to call a meeting, or merely call it off.

calling a meeting

(https://www.atlassian.com/blog/teamwork/how-to-run-effective-meetings)

Change Things Up

Staring at the same four walls every day is just about a prison sentence, and not the inspiring work environment you should be trying to cultivate.

Try calling a meeting outside of the workplace. How about a coffee shop or cafe? Having an environment that is creatively stimulating is important for generating original ideas, and just maybe that one you’ve been waiting for.

Be Prepared

Nobody wants to take a chunk out of their day to attend a meeting, sit down and be asked what they’d like to discuss today. When you call a meeting, make sure that there is a CLEAR objective, that you’ve prepared what you’d like to say, and those goals are achieved by the end of the meeting.

Respect the fact that people have given of their time to attend the meeting, and make sure you guide them through the process in the most efficient way possible.

Invite Relevant People

You’re holding a meeting about the newest creative project your company has taken on. I think we can all agree that Bertie from accounting doesn’t need to be there. Yet somehow companies seem to think that big meetings are the way to do things… Nope. They’re a waste of time.

Don’t let any of your employees sit wasting their time when they could be doing something far more productive. Before sending out the invite, uncheck anyone that is not relevant from the list. Uncheck anyone that doesn’t have enough insight to contribute, and uncheck anyone that’s not going to be working directly on the project.

What will you be left with? Your project superstars – the ones that actually need to be at the meeting.

Keep a Strict Schedule

If you said we’d talk about project XYZ for 10 minutes, then after 10 minutes, move on… Chances are that if you’re falling behind schedule, you’re moving onto irrelevant topics. Make sure you’re keeping a tight ship and not lingering on anything for too long.

In order to keep everyone involved and concentrating, you need to be sticking to the game plan.

No Hogging The Spotlight

Whether you’re the culprit, or it’s one of your colleagues, make sure that everyone gets a chance to put in their 2 cents worth, and bring the spotlight hoggers down a notch.

Set the standard from the very beginning by not allowing anyone to take over the conversation. The person leading the meeting should always be in control and be able to steer the conversation wherever it needs to go.

Respect People’s Time

Never let a meeting go on for more than an hour. A 60-minute meeting is stretching people’s concentration spans to pretty much THE max.

Starting on time is a big factor when it comes to ending on time. Don’t let your employees that arrived on time have to wait around for half an hour, and then your meeting ends half an hour later. This is a big waste of productive hours.

Make sure that if you said the meeting would be done after 1 hour, you start wrapping up after 50 minutes so that you’re not encroaching on anyone else’s time.

Know What’s Coming Next

After the meeting is over there needs to be a clear set of goals as to how to continue. Summarize the meeting in bullet points, so everyone remembers what the outcomes were. Set tasks for those that were assigned duties, and make sure everyone knows what the next step is.

When scheduling a meeting, make sure that you know what you’d like the outcome to be. There needs to be a purpose otherwise there’s no point. And none of this “I’m scheduling a meeting to discuss our last meeting” bullsh*t. You’re bored, that’s what that is.

Schedule meetings that make a difference, that are purposeful and are an efficient use of time.

Content Creation vs Content Curation

content curation

 

How can SME’s (small to medium-sized enterprises) cut through the noise by carving out an excellent slice of content for their niche?

Since the dawn of the Internet, creation and curation of content have been butting heads and causing debates. But I’m not here to fight for a side. Because really, most companies fall somewhere in the middle. That is, creating content that their audience will love, and curating content that they think their audience will find useful.

Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of content:

Creating Original Content

Okay, let’s start with the positives!

  • Creating original content is a winner for SEO. Google loves seeing your site creating original stuff regularly, and bumps your rankings as a reward. This drives traffic to your site. Well worth it, don’t you think?
  • Creating content can also help with lead generation – by giving away a freebie or two as a little bait for your landing page you can generate leads, but only if you have some original content to give away! Try a free e-book or a workshop.
  • You have control over brand identity – every time you create a piece of content you can use your brand voice. Being a distinctive voice amongst the great noise of the web will make you stand out.

But while creating content can be highly beneficial to your brand and your website, there are a few drawbacks to note.

  • Time is the first. Creating high quality, original content can be time-consuming, as well as costly. Everything has a price, but you have to decide whether that price is worth it or not.
  • Creating original content can also put you at risk of being plagiarized (not so cool). Although most writers are willing to link to a source directly, there are those that are talented at “copying and pasting.”

Curating Content

Even though curating means that your work is not entirely original, it can be cost effective and save you time. And we’d all agree that these are two commodities that are well worth being preserved in your business environment. Let’s look at some of the other positives of curation…

  • It builds relationships. Let me tell you why… When you share content from other online sources and they notice, they kinda like it! You’re driving traffic to their site and providing insight that you maybe never have had, for YOUR audience. If the online source that you shared likes your original content, they’re likely to give it a share too, creating a give and take relationship that’s mutually beneficial.
  • Curation changes things up on your feed. No matter how fun or interesting your content is, we all look forward to a new tone, style, and images from time to time. Sometimes it’s good to let the spotlight shine on others and hand over the mic for a moment. This could keep your audience on their toes.

While there are some great benefits to content curation, it’s not all sunshine and happy days. Here are some downsides to watch out for…

  • If you’re ONLY curating your content, you’ll end up with poorer SEO results than if you were creating.
  • Your site traffic will also start to leak onto other sites. So what? Your audience might stop following you and follow the original source of the content instead. This would be a sad end to your content story.

So What’s Better?

The answer? A mix of both. Sure, there are companies that have made their fortune purely curating or purely creating. But for most of us wanting to market our businesses, we should create content on the topics where we know our sh*t. And for the topics, we know little about, curation is better; let the experts do their thing. – and praise them for it.

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