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Lean meetings: how do you accomplish them?

Posted by Paul Neefjes on 28 December, 2015

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The term “lean” is still hot in many companies.  According to Wikipedia “lean” is a management philosophy that is focused upon realizing the maximum value for the client with minimum loss. Expenses are hereby reduced, improving the company results. Lean can also be applied in the area of meetings.  And that can result in a major efficiency gain. 

Efficient meetings

Everyone knows that meetings are more than just the discussions. Aside from the planning of a meeting there is also the organization, mailing and reading of documents. And naturally there are agreements and decisions made during the meeting.  And don’t forget the minutes… You can do all of this much more efficiently by holding paperless meetings. How Lean is that?!  Piles of paper meeting notes belong to the past because all of the materials that you need are on your laptop or tablet.  You work much more efficiently with digital meetings:

  • You can prepare for a meeting wherever and whenever you please.  You are not tied to the office because you have digital access to all meeting materials.
  • You lose less time in preparation and simplify the collaboration with colleagues.
  • You don’t have to search for the correct meeting documents anymore, everything is already on a tablet or laptop.  The participants are therefore more focused on the meeting, which makes it quicker and more effective.

More tips for lean meetings

In addition to paperless meetings, do you want to know more about Lean meeting practices?  The following tips will help:

  1. It may seem obvious, but start and end the meeting at the designated time. Latecomers sometimes hinder the progress. If someone arrives late, don’t bring it up during the meeting.  Determine how much time should be spent on each point of the agenda and hold to it.
  2. Only include the team members in the meeting who are really necessary for decision making.  Not everyone needs to be included.  Allow participants to leave the meeting when the subject is not relevant for them.
  3. Rotate the chairman every meeting.  Every chairman has their own vision and manner of working.  If the chair changes then the usual leader of the meeting isn’t the only one who has influence on the process and decision making. You can also alternate the chair for specific agenda items.
  4. Ask participants for input on time, make a list of this beforehand and use it to augment the agenda.  If you don’t do this, you will receive requests during the meeting. Participants are unprepared for this, and it results in an irritating and time-consuming meeting detour.
  5. Make sure that the resolutions made are clear.  That prevents the same agenda point from reoccurring the next time.

Beyond the enhancement of efficiency, paperless meetings have other benefits!  Do you want to know which ones?  Then download our ebook.

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iBabs is a leader in paperless meetings and enables you to reduce these piles of documents to the thickness of your tablet. Hundreds of organizations have been using this system for more than 15 years.

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