Meetings don’t make decisions … Leaders do.
This week we’re exploring some organization changes that we’re making around our “meeting culture” at Liquid Church. We’ve been inspired and motivated largely by the work of Al Pittampalli and his book “Read this Before Our Next Meeting.”
As we’ve been tackling improving our “meeting culture” around here at Liquid . . . one of realities that we’ve had to face up to is that often meetings are places that people go to hide from making decisions. They should function as places where conflict is worked out . . .where we fight for the best ideas . . . but often they are just places where we go to diffuse responsibility and not actually make decisions.
- The Update Meeting – “We have an event coming up soon . . . we want to make sure everyone knows what’s happening right? Let’s pull ’em all together and talk about it.” But there are way more effective ways to update your team . . . remember “memos”? No need to meet just to update people . . . find a more creative and effective way to do that.
- The “Let’s Think About That Stuff” Meeting – “We have some stuff coming up that we’re not sure what to do about . . . let’s get in the room and talk about potentials.” Rather than a focused brain storming session with a specific outcome . . . these meetings just seem to meander from one thing to another. If there isn’t a clear outcome we’re talking about . . . let’s not meet.
- The “Task & Relationship” Meeting – “Hey man . . . let’s not make this all business around here . . . don’t you know the church is all about relationships. Let’s mix relationship with task!” I strongly believe that relationship and community is über important in the church. I just think we should be really clear that there are times to focus on the relationships totally and not muddle that time with tasks to do. Take an afternoon off with your team and go see the movies together . . . have fun together . . . but make sure that you don’t try to mix task in with that.
Meetings are tools used by leaders to push the mission forward. What God is calling us to is so much larger than the time we have to complete it. We need to leverage our time together to be pushing the mission. If it’s not clear at the end of the meeting how we helped our church reach more people or develop more disciples than the meeting was probably a waste. What other meetings have you seen happen in your organization that don’t push the mission forward? [I’d love hear from you!]