Organise Meetings Key Points • A clear purpose is essential for a good meeting. • Different types of meetings serve different purposes.
Reasons for meetings • Do the meetings you attend always have a purpose? Do you ever spend time during a meeting saying to yourself, 'Why am I here?' or 'What's the point of all this?‘ • For a meeting to be effective, it must have a purpose. The meeting should have a measurable outcome, so the purpose needs to have a focus. Your purpose will be determined by your goals and objectives: What do you want to achieve?
Organise Meetings • There are a number of reasons for holding meetings. • However, at the simplest level, meetings are held to give information, to get information, a combination of both of these objectives, and to make decisions.
Organise Meetings • A meeting is not always the best option. • Legislation dictates certain requirements for the conduct and composition of meetings.
Organise Meetings To help clarify your purpose, you should ask: • what do I intend to achieve at this meeting? • what would be the consequences of not holding this meeting? • how will I determine whether it has been a success or failure?
Organise Meetings Are the following appropriate purposes for meetings • We need to discuss the new publishing list. • I've called this meeting because we haven't had one for a while. • We need to decide whether we are going to enter a new market.
Organise Meetings • I would like to know where you are at with your projects. • Let's talk about the new title that's coming out in a couple of weeks. • I'd like to give you some information about the proposed relocation of the office.
Organise Meetings • Is a meeting the only option? • Whether or not you decide to have a meeting will depend on what you are trying to accomplish. There may be other ways to meet your needs, for example, if you wanted to give information, you could use email, a memo or a report instead. • If you are thinking of holding a meeting, you need to consider: • Cost • Time • Participation
Organise Meetings Work out a costing for a face-to-face meeting of the ValleyView 'On the Move' project team based on the following: The meeting requires the attendance of: • Stephanie Nutalie, Project Manager ($35.85 per hour) • Marcia Ferguson, Instructional Designer ($42.92 per hour) • Jay Van Den Berg, Editor ($29.93 per hour) • Jacinta Del Rio, Marketing Executive ($31.14 per hour) • Martin Horgan, Accountant ($29.89 per hour) • Christine Smith, Graphic Designer ($30.42 per hour) • Tim Tran, Editorial Assistant ($19.40 per hour) • Angus Smissen, General Manager ($50.43 per hour).
Organise Meetings • The group meets for about one and a half hours, and uses the board room at $100 per hour to cover rental, lighting and heating. Morning tea is provided at a cost of $3.50 per head. • Does your costing suggest there may be a better way of doing things, or are these costs justifiable?
Organise Meetings In the following scenarios, assume cost is not a problem and everyone is available and has time to prepare. Would a meeting be appropriate?
Organise Meetings Stephanie is the Project Manager for the 'On the Move' team. She has a half-formed idea for the direction of the project, and she knows that the editor has some ideas as well. She wants the opinion of other team members and wants to get the concept fully developed.
Organise Meetings Would a meeting be appropriate? • Yes. • Stephanie wants to develop an idea and needs input from the team
Organise Meetings Vanitha Vismartali, the Accounts Clerk, is very concerned about the issue of computer-related health problems. She has done some research and she thinks all ValleyView staff should be made aware of the findings. However, Vanitha is very shy and quietly spoken
Organise Meetings Would a meeting be appropriate? • No. • In this case it would be more for the information to be distributed in the form of a report or email., as it is most likely that Vanitha would be more persuasive on paper than in person
Organise Meetings It is Wednesday afternoon and the Sales and Distribution Manager, Geoff Ryder has just had a meeting with Norta Diessen, HR and Finance Manager, about the increase in requests for reimbursement of travel expenses. Geoff has told Norta that he will get some ideas for reducing these expenses from his team, and get back to her on Monday. The sales reps are mostly 'on the road' Wednesdays and Thursdays and the distribution officer has appointments with clients on Thursday, so Geoff was thinking of holding a meeting on Friday.
Organise Meetings Would a meeting be appropriate? • Yes. • Geoff has a deadline to meet, and there is no time to send out a memo or email then compile the responses. The time restriction limits other methods of obtaining ideas.
Organise Meetings Greg Murphy, Executive Assistant, has been told by Angus Smissen, the General Manager to call a meeting for all staff because he, Angus, hasn't seen them for a while.
Organise Meetings Would a meeting be appropriate? • Yes. • The boss has told Greg to hold a meeting, so Greg had better call a meeting! However, he will need to extract an agenda from Angus
Organise Meetings Types of meetings Once you (or management) have decided on the meeting's purpose, you need to select an appropriate meeting structure to achieve your purpose. Critical to this choice is the amount of decision-sharing responsibility you will allow your participants to have. Will you call for delegates? Will you ask attendees to devise specific recommendations?
Organise Meetings There are many different types of meetings that serve different purposes and are structured in different ways.
Types of Meetings • Inaugural meetings • Annual general meeting • Extraordinary general meetings • Directors' or board meetings • Section/department meetings • Specific interest groups • Conferences • Seminars and workshops • Ad hoc committees • Regular or standing committee
Organise Meetings Legal requirements of meetings • Many meetings have underpinning legal obligations. These may be as general as obeying a police officer's order to disperse, or as specific as requiring a particular type of notice to be given for an annual general meeting. • The body of law pertaining to meetings has evolved in both common law and special Acts of Parliament since the time of King Henry VIII. • If an organisation has a constitution and replaceable rules or Articles of Association, these must be complied with. Failure to do so may be an infringement of law.
Organise Meetings Australian meeting laws • Most organisations are required by law to hold some meetings. They are bound by particular legislation, and the legislation dictates certain requirements for the conduct and composition of meetings. In Australia, these are the legal priorities:
Organise Meetings Statutory requirements • For example, Australian Corporations Act 2001http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ca2001172/index.html regulates all companies. This legislation contains provisions relating to meetings. • Many other pieces of legislation contain requirements for the conduct of meetings. • Statutory requirements include Acts of Parliament relating to strata titles, corporations, incorporation, workplace relations, cooperatives and friendly societies
Organise Meetings Common law • Common law and recognised meeting procedure apply to all company meetings unless the company's articles of association contain provisions which exclude common law principles. • There are also various Acts of Parliament in each state that provide rules of incorporation, rules relating to registration, and other specific and general requirements for the notification periods and conduct of meetings and elections.
Organise Meetings Corporations law The Corporations Act2001 is the uniform legislation that regulates companies in Australia. It provides the base that organisations use to develop their own acceptable meeting conventions. Part 2G of the Corporations Act 2001 contains regulations that provide instructions about how to conduct: • the annual general meeting • the statutory meeting
Organise Meetings • meetings of boards of directors • creditors meetings • procedures for winding up meetings • meetings of debenture holders • meetings of holders of prescribed interests.
Organise Meetings Why is it necessary for a company to hold an annual general meeting?
Organise Meetings Invalid meetings • There are some circumstances that may render a meeting invalid; for example, the attendance of any person at a meeting who is not entitled to be there can render a meeting legally invalid. None of the proceedings from that meeting may be enacted.
Part 2 Developing an Agenda
Developing an Agenda Key points • An agenda is much more than a list of things to be dealt with at a meeting. • An agenda is more than a list of things to do. • Meeting participants should have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda. • The order of items on the agenda should be carefully and logically planned. • Content of the agenda will depend on the type of meeting being held. • Altering the agenda is possible but not recommended
Developing an Agenda Why an agenda is important • An agenda is much more than a list of things to do. An agenda is a meeting program designed to enable all important and relevant points to be dealt with in good order and good time. • An agenda is also a form of courtesy. It informs the chairperson and participants of the refined purpose of the meeting. This gives them time to prepare for the tasks, and enables them to make a meaningful contribution.
Developing an Agenda A well planned agenda can: • provide a logical guide for business and discussion • bring harmony and efficiency to a meeting • help restrain participants from speaking out of turn. • Imagine a formal meeting without an agenda. What could happen? Make a list of six possible situations or outcomes
Developing an Agenda Planning the agenda • Every participant should have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda. Planning an agenda may be as simple as posting a notice on a bulletin board and allowing participants to write down any items they want to discuss. In some cases, the agenda may be drawn up in the first few minutes of the meeting; however, for a formal meeting, an agenda should be included with the notice of meeting.
Developing an Agenda There are three important consultative tasks you should undertake when planning a meeting agenda: • include the questions and concerns raised at the last meeting and in the period before the next meeting • consult with the executive and chairperson • refer to the minutes of the previous meeting and include all those items which required follow-up.
Developing an Agenda • With formal meetings, such as an annual general meeting (AGM), the agenda should be distributed with the notice of meeting. How would you call for items for inclusion on a formal meeting agenda?
Developing an Agenda Sequencing the agenda • A formal agenda schedule is commonly used because it is practical and efficient. However, you may be required to alter the sequence to include specific items such as those which arise from the previous minutes or general business
Developing an Agenda • Sometimes you may put items that require minimal discussion at the start of the meeting. Groups often work better when they can move from simple to more complex items in a meeting. However, if you are running out of time and have placed decisions which require a lot of discussion and effort at the end of the agenda, the pressure may cause tempers to flare and hasty, ineffective decisions may be made
Developing an Agenda Content of the agenda • If your agenda is too brief or too vague, you will deprive participants of the opportunity to be well prepared. • It is useful to include a brief reason why each topic has been included. This should be a simple explanatory note to help keep everyone informed and on track and guide the contribution participants make.
Developing an Agenda Agendas for formal meetings such as AGMs and board meetings will generally: • have more detail • use formal language • have a more structured layout • contain cross-references to other meeting documents.
Developing an Agenda Agendas for less formal meetings such as ad hoc committees or department meetings will generally: • be more brief • use less formal language • contain jargon and concepts specific to the meeting participants
Developing an Agenda An agenda may contain these headings • Welcome • Sequencing of agenda • Attendance/Apologies • Minutes of previous meeting • Correspondence • Reports, such as Report from the Chair, Report from the Treasurer • Business arising from the correspondence
Developing an Agenda • General business: Topics for discussion/resolution • General business: Topics for information • Other business • Next meeting • Closure of Meeting
Developing an Agenda Discussing the agendaRead this scene, which shows discussion of a meeting agenda • JAY: We're going to have a bit to talk about at this meeting, aren't we? • STEPHANIE: Well, I think so, seeing it's our first meeting. We need to work out a timeline for our current jobs and discuss opportunities for expanding our future. • JAY: Hmm. What about discussing how we're going to meet in the future? • STEPHANIE: Good idea. We'll talk about sharing note taking duties and the chair as well. Heck, we haven't even got a proper name yet! • JAY: Now that's an important point! Anything else? • STEPHANIE: I think that's about it, although some of the others might want to bring up other issues.
Developing an Agenda Formatting the agenda • spaces for notes • suggested time allocations • draft motions • statements of action required • the name of each responsible agent A 'chairperson's agenda' is a version prepared for the chairperson and minutes secretary. It contains additional space for making notes both prior to and during the meeting.
Developing an Agenda Tips for formatting agendas Agendas should have a layout and format that is consistent and appropriate for all meetings of the same type. To make your task of developing regular agendas easier you could prepare a template document from which all agendas will be developed. Your template should be designed with:
Developing an Agenda • a font that is easy to read • a hierarchy of heading styles, so participants can easily see which items are most important • plenty of white space • very little use of bold or italic text • no underlining (underlining is now used to indicate hyperlinks).
Developing an Agenda It is also useful to: • number the agenda items • star items if necessary • provide an estimate of the time allotted to discussion of each item • clearly indicate starting time for the meeting, the time of any known adjournment and the finishing time • schedule breaks (morning tea, lunch)