Rethinking the Regime of Meetings: A CEO’s Imperative for Purposeful Collaboration

In the organizational world, meetings have become the backbone of collaboration and decision-making processes. Yet, more often than not, they tend to morph into endless gatherings that drain productivity and enthusiasm. As new CEOs step into leadership roles, one of the critical tasks they face is reassessing the prevailing regime of meetings and attendees.


In my experience working with several new leaders inheriting mysterious meeting structures, it became evident that a significant overhaul was necessary. The focus shifted from simply filling calendars with meetings to ensuring each gathering served a clear purpose and contributed meaningfully to organizational objectives.


The first step in this transformation is acknowledging the need for fewer meetings overall. Quality should always trump quantity. Each meeting should have a distinct purpose, whether it’s decision-making, problem-solving, brainstorming, or aligning on strategic initiatives.


Moreover, preplanning becomes paramount. Setting clear agendas in advance ensures that participants come prepared, maximizing the efficiency of the meeting. Additionally, identifying the right people to attend is crucial. Involving only those directly relevant to the agenda prevents unnecessary attendees from diluting the discussion and wasting time.


During the meeting itself, fostering active participation is key. Encouraging dialogue, brainstorming sessions, and seeking input from all attendees not only enhances engagement but also leads to richer outcomes. The focus should always be on driving towards actionable decisions or clear next steps.


Post-meeting follow-up is often overlooked but equally essential. Assigning responsibilities, documenting decisions, and circulating follow-up plans and notes ensures accountability and keeps momentum going beyond the meeting room.


In essence, the new CEO’s mission is to cultivate a culture where meetings are purposeful experiences that drive progress. By reimagining the role of meetings and adopting a mindset of intentionality and participation, organizations can unlock untapped potential and propel themselves towards greater success. We help leaders with this all the time.