Most meetings in mid-size companies involve day-to-day decision-making and serve an operational purpose – to resolve a problem, clarify an approach or inform the situation. They serve an organizational need and are for the most part informal and impromptu, but difference-making meetings are different.
At a difference-making meeting, issues and approaches that influence the way an organization addresses the future undergo debate and decisions reached. These types of meetings are more formal and follow certain guidelines. First, executives familiar with issues attend them. Having received the proposal and background materials in advance, they have studied the issues – performed their diligence – and developed a point of view. Second, these types of meetings need a facilitator who can keep the group on task. The facilitator should point the group toward a solution and allow them to explore alternatives, but not drift from the original proposal. The obligation of the group is to decide on the appropriateness of the proposal.
If you want a more productive future, you might start with more productive – difference-making — meetings.