• Send a clear agenda when you send the meeting invitation – not two minutes before the meeting – so it’s easier for everyone to tell whether they need to attend.
• Designate someone to take thorough notes on the discussion, the decisions, and the rationale behind these conclusions. Circulate those to your manager, and anyone else who might need to be in the loop – but doesn’t need to come to the meeting.
I sometimes wonder if we are overly fixated on achieving “consensus” either out of a sense of fairness or a desire to avoid political attacks. Sometimes, I find myself simply wishing that someone would make a decision or delegate responsibility. Of course, an autocratic decision making system excludes other worthwhile ideas. In a 1996 article, “Fast Company” described the importance of meetings and the effect of “bad meetings.”