How to run a problem-solving meeting
This is a special sort of get together, similar to the meeting where you organize people to figure out the best way to take advantage of an opportunity. In both cases, amateurs usually run the meetings, and the group often fails to do their best work.
Ignore these rules at your peril:
- Only the minimum number of people should participate. Don't invite anyone for political reasons. Don't invite anyone to socialize them on the solution because they were part of inventing it--people don't need to be in the kitchen to enjoy the meal at the restaurant.
- No one participating by conference call... it changes the tone of the proceedings.
- A very structured agenda to prevent conversation creep. You are only here to do one thing.
- All the needed data provided to all attendees, in advance, in writing.
- At least one person, perhaps the host, should have a point of view about what the best course is, but anyone who comes should only be invited if they are willing to change their position.
- Agree on the structure of a deliverable solution before you start.
- Deliver on that structure when you finish.