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Do you ask for agendas before a meeting?

Before having a meeting is it important or necessary to ask for agendas prior to the meeting? Does this help with efficiency? Or is it just added work? Would love to hear others thoughts whether or not I should implement agendas to my meetings, and what works and what doesn't.


49 Replies

Rob Gropper
0
2
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
internal meetings or customer/partner meetings? If internal only what is frequency and duration? small, medium or large company?
Simon Bain
2
0
Simon Bain Entrepreneur
CEO SearchYourCloud Inc.
Hi. If you have requested, or are the owner of a meeting then yes. You should have an agenda. Even if only an informal one in the invite request outlining what it is you wish to discuss. That way the people that you are inviting are able to prepare in advance. Simon
Aswan Morgan
0
0
Aswan Morgan Entrepreneur
Mobile Entrepreneur; eCommerce Personalization, Optimization & Conversion Expert
For informal external meetings, I generally don't expect a structured agenda--just a mutual awareness of the purpose. If formal, yes, an agenda is needed.

Internally...only if it's a non-standup (more than 15 minutes), consists of more than 2 individuals, or involves cross-departmental teams.
Tim Scott
0
0
Tim Scott Entrepreneur • Advisor
President, Lunaverse Software
It depends. If it's a regular group and/or regular set of topics, don't add formality just to do it "right." If it's larger group that might tend to wander, or the topics are unclear, then an agenda is great tool to keep you on time and ensure you hit every topic.
Andrew Hoag
2
0
Andrew Hoag Advisor
Builder of products, teams and companies
Absolutely set an agenda. It's amazing how common meetings are and how little shared best practices there are... Check out Worklife which takes a lot of things I've recommended over the years into a coherent system.
Michael Dore - ESQ, MBA, CISSP
0
1
Attorney/Consultant at Self Employed
Yes. Agendas are required. Spikes and research meetings can have looser/more vague agendas but otherwise it's important to know what you can talk about in the allotted time. Agendas can also help keep your meeting on track as participants can sometimes try to hijack meetings for other purposes. I had a colleague who would not attend any meetings that did not have agendas.

Good luck.
Isaiah McPeak
4
0
Isaiah McPeak Advisor
Entrepreneur and Debate Coach
1. We ask for a "purpose" of a meeting. What's the outcome we're going for?
2. If it requires a breakdown structure, an agenda should come with. Usually, a meeting should be tight enough to not need much more than a couple bullets.
3. We push as much to "pre-meeting" as possible.

For example... we are trying to create a particular process. To do so we:
a) Scheduled a "Decisionmaking" meeting for 8 days out
b) One person identified likely key issues
c) A deadline 5 days out was set to send written thoughts
d) As often happens, we may discuss these written thoughts via writing and end up not needing the meeting... or it may be a simple "ok, seems we've got it down to two options, let's choose"

How does this work? Single-topic meetings. You cannot have a meeting that is any TWO of:
- briefing (update/argument on a topic)
- idea collision (post-individual-brainstorm idea fest)
- scoping (storyboarding and breaking down a plan)
- problem-solving (e.g. a risk/issue/challenge)
- status (revisit assumptions/commitments)
Peter Radsliff
5
0
Peter Radsliff Entrepreneur
Consumer Tech Marketing & Product Executive
More than just having an agenda, what can really make your meetings more efficient is to publish what your specific goals for the meeting are. Let people know that you will be trying to come to a consensus decision by the end of the meeting. Or, that you will be making a decision based on the information presented during the meeting. Getting clear on the business outcome of why everyone is there is much more important than merely listing what you are going to cover during the meeting time. That said, agendas are an excellent way to keep a meeting in alignment with the goals. Just be sure that your agenda provides an open structure that invites participation, instead of something that is so locked down that people feel shut out.

Scott McGregor
0
0
Scott McGregor Entrepreneur • Advisor
Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.
I really like seeing an agenda before each meeting. I often find it burdensome to create one when I am very busy (I.e. Most all the time). I suspect most others feel the same about any activity that reduces cognitive load for the recipient at a cost of imposing higher cognitive load on the contributors. Scott McGregor, [removed to protect privacy], (408) 505-4123 Sent from my iPhone
Barry Garman
1
0
Barry Garman Entrepreneur
Director at Karsun Solutions LLC
Absolutely! Having an agenda that clarifies expected outcome is a must for every meeting, even for recurring meetings where the goal of the meeting may change from one meeting to another.
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