Yesterday I met someone from a club who held a committee meeting that went 4.5 hours… the only reason they finished was because it was midnight and people were falling asleep…but they still hadn’t finished the meeting.
Let’s get serious about this. You will never attract or retain committee members if their commitment is 4.5 hour meetings and equally time sapping tasks.
If you’re using TidyClub you’re in luck as we have allowed for these types of things with our meetings. Here is how you will solve it.
- Print out list of outstanding tasks.
- Ensure Meeting Agenda and outstanding tasks has been circulated before hand - so people can prepare.
- Ensure Minute Taker is following our Meetings format where things can only be one of the following. This ensures that an action item has been achieved for each discussion point. Move on as soon as it has been described.
- Task Item
- To-Do Item
- General Information
- A Decision
- Schedule 5 minutes for each item. If items go beyond 4x this (this should be a rare occurrence) schedule a time for another discussion outside of the meeting.
- Delegate a time-keeper. They are responsible for ensuring that time limits are not broken. They need to be bold, brash and unforgiving of abuse of time.
- A meeting goes for as long as it has to… do not publish an end time on a meeting.
- Minute Taker can instantly send well formatted minutes to all participants and apologies at the conclusion of the meeting.
- Don’t invite everyone on the committee if everyone on the committee isn’t required.
Your committee will be happier as they know why they are there, they can see the progress skip along quickly and they are more likely to attend again as they know if people are prepared they don’t get bogged down on issues.Try it. You’ll see.
Clubs and Associations are by their very definition a group of like minded people. Which I feel is part of the reason that people eliminate conflict wherever and whenever it appears, in meetings, on the field trip or at an event.
Obviously there is a time and place for everything, but provoking conflict will only provoke interest and engagement, it will cause people to describe what they really think, or perhaps kickstart thinking along a different tangent.
It is a very handy mechanism or tool in a good managers toolbox. Handling the conflict actively and professionally and is a whole other discussion.
Next time you’re in a committee meeting, put out some verbal rope out to play with, highlight a threat or a concern and give it a gentle rub. Sure it may be a little uncomfortable, but resolving these issues in the open will make for a stronger bond.
After all, if these things were never discussed and actioned wouldn’t that result in an even more uncomfortable position later on?
Are Meeting Formats Still Relevant?
Every meeting should have an agenda, a time-keeper, minute taker etc, all helping to produce a goal(s) that you want to accomplish.
But are traditional meeting structures out of date? Does the new generation of instant satisfaction, those that are used to instant emails, SMS’s, success and promotion have the patience to sit through the most formal of practices?
Arranging the agenda to quickly whittle through the tasks at hand is getting ever more important. If an agenda item is not contributing to the required outcomes, take it out.
No one will miss it.
If they do miss it, point out that they should have added it to the agenda and include it next time if it is again validated.
It doesn’t matter how interesting the numbers are, or the feedback from that group is, if it’s not going to support the main objective of the meeting it’s merely a distraction and an obstacle to your clubs success. It will likely also add to the pain that drives volunteers away from such committee positions.