The Future of Meetings

Some predictions:

  1. Agendas will become redundant.

The purpose of an agenda is to keep the meeting on track (agenda items are often time allotted), to ensure that planned topics are covered and to allow attendees to preview topics.

The structure of future meetings will change. Meetings of the future will either be individual or team-based; or strategic objective-based.

It’s happening now. Most meetings track around teams and seek an update from each.

The more effective meetings track through the Company’s objectives and seek validation that actions are in line with objectives.

2. Minutes will become redundant.

Meetings are recorded now, and soon AI apps will be able to record key points and actions. already provides that service.

3. Ad Hoc meetings will increase.

With team members working from home, remotely or hybridly, there is a greater likelihood that there be ad hoc group conversations (similar to the corridor catch up) where decisions are made and clarification is sought. Online ‘looping in’ of Team Members is easy online and the time saved in covering a topic and seeking a resolution on the fly is a winner.

4. Meetings will not be called ‘Meetings’

They are called ‘scrums’, ‘huddles’, ‘catch-ups’, ‘steercos’, ‘info sessions’, ‘lunch and learn’, ‘workshops’, ‘conferences’, ‘showcases’ – anything but ‘meeting’. It’s happening now.

5. Meeting attendees will increase.

Two reasons:

Firstly, the complexity of businesses now means that more and more functions need to be included in any updates or decision-making. Nearly every part of a business is impacted by any event. It is likely that an implementer of a change is unlikely to know all the impacts of a change, and so to ensure against that, everyone needs to be invited to a meeting to discuss.

Secondly, working remotely means that verbal communication is doubly important (written communication can be clarified in person on-site) and so large forums are created to repeat the message and canvas questions.

6. Meetings will be shorter.

The online nature of most meetings provides more formality and less redundancy (technical issues aside). Side conversations are eliminated, focus is improved, succinctness is rewarded.