Findings from our Working Smart with Meetings pilot

In April 2010, following our global release, Priority Management NSW launched Working Smart in Meetings to the NSW market at a breakfast seminar in Sydney's CBD. We invited some of our long standing and key clients across a wide range of industries and verticals so as to ensure we were getting truly universal feedback on our programme. We had representatives from organisations in Professional Services, the Construction industry, the Banking Sector, Engineering Firms, Federal, State and Local Government, Energy, Entertainment, and FMCG to name a few.

The seminar was a tremendous success and the response to the program and appetite amongst the attendees for the issues broached was electric. A pilot workshop for a select group of our key clients was then delivered so as to obtain a much more detailed insight into the actual value of the curriculum and how best to facilitate it going forward.

Each attendee was from a major organisation with vast experience in Learning and Development and/or conducting, running or attending meetings. At the end of the workshop, each attendee was asked to complete a very specific evaluation form. We got some fascinating insights into the culture of, and issues faced in meetings from the results:

When asked; How much of this information was new to you?
The respondents answered that an average of 39% of the information in the programme was new to them.

When asked; How valuable was this new information?
40% of the respondents answered Valuable.
50% of the respondents answered Very Valuable.
10% of the respondents answered Extremely Valuable.

The main meeting de-railers were identified as:
Cultural 35.8%
Lack of Process 21.4%
Behaviour of Participants 21.4%
Lack of Preparation 21.4%

When asked which of the 4 phases (Achieving focus, Gathering resources, Agenda & Outcomes and Evaluate & Improve) of the meeting process was the most important:
70% of the respondents answered Achieving Focus
30% of the respondents answered Agenda & Outcomes

The anticipated Return on Investment for the respective organisations was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being Low and 5 being High.
The average ROI was 3.66 (73%)

When asked for their overall satisfaction for the programme:
20% were satisfied
50% were very satisfied
30% were extremely satisfied

Conclusion
It is clear from this feedback (and our own findings) that, despite meetings being carried out every day, in every organisation around the world, and with most companies knowing the basics, there is still much room for improvement. The addition of some best practise process and proper planning can have a significant impact on the effectiveness and outcomes of those meetings. The pay off in both time and money saved can be substantial.
We think maybe we should set up a meeting.... to discuss your meetings!