"Do I really need to be here for this?" "What was the point of that?" "There goes another hour of my life that I can't get back." "Oh, no, please, please don't ask another question."
If you've ever muttered under your breath about yet another tedious team meeting that went nowhere, then you're not alone. According to researchers at the University of Nebraska*, more than 11 million workplace meetings take place every day, and businesses in the U.S. alone waste over $37 billion per year on ineffective meetings!
Regrettably, all too many meetings are a drain on budgets, time, energy, morale, and momentum, but that needn't be the case. Team meetings can be efficient, effective, useful, and motivating if you adopt a few best practices. And, Infolio can help.
Here are four ways using Infolio can reduce the numbers of meetings you need, and help you make the most of the ones you hold.
#1. Plan Meetings as Active Exercises in "Collaborative Purpose"
Well-run enterprises understand that effective meetings are about more than the "transmit only" communication of information to a passive audience. Meetings should never be an occasion for one person to "slide whip" a room full of colleagues with a presentation. Instead, meetings should be dialogs with a collaborative purpose. Efficient meetings often entail distributing an agenda, meeting objectives and background information beforehand, as well as asking team members to pre-read the information and to actively engage in the meeting's collaborative purpose rather than passively listening. The outcome of a meeting should be a set of actions that everyone attending takes together before the end of the meeting. Those actions typically include formulating plans, taking and posting notes to capture new insights, making decisions, as well as the assignment or execution of tasks.
With Infolio, sharing pre-meeting information is a snap whether it's videos, white papers, raw data, notes from prior meetings, or more. Any material that's essential to the meeting's collaborative purpose can be loaded onto a project's visual board for team members to digest and discuss before ever sitting down together. By facilitating the sharing and discussion of meeting information and objectives ahead of time, as well as by making it easy to document important insights and actions, Infolio allows for effective real-time or asynchronous participation of team members engaged to achieve the meeting's collaborative purpose.
Relatedly, no team member should ever have to experience the hair-pulling frustration of feeling forced to sit through a meeting they didn't really need to attend. Barring special exceptions, team leaders should only invite members who are essential to achieving a meeting's collaborative purpose. With Infolio, meeting invitations can be directed only on a need-to-be-there basis. And, by facilitating the sharing and discussion of meeting information and goals ahead of time, Infolio also allows for seamless addition or subtraction of meeting participants as team members refine the meeting's collaborative purpose.
#2. Invite Team Members on a Need-To-Be-There Basis
Because Infolio serves as the single source of truth for the meeting information, insights, tasks and decisions, it lets you limit sending real-time meeting invitations on a "need-to-be-there" basis. Other team members can provide input that is not time-sensitive as required when their schedule permits, and stay up to date by checking into the Infolio meeting workspace. Team members should never have to experience the hair-pulling frustration of feeling forced to sit through a meeting they didn't need to attend.
#3. Take Meeting Notes That Will Be Used by Everyone, Not Just Re-Read by Someone
Note-taking at a well-run meeting should never be limited to recording what team members said. Yes, that's one purpose of meeting notes, but with Infolio's collaborative tools they can accomplish so much more. Infolio takes meeting attendees out of their note-taking silos and puts them, literally and functionally, on the same page in pursuing their collaborative purpose. The result is a functional, interactive collection of information that team members contribute to on the spot during the meeting (e.g., to assign tasks, set deadlines, etc.). Also, Infolio workspaces can be used collaboratively to track progress and share follow-up ideas and questions after the meeting ends.
#4. Communicate Asynchronously and Follow Up From Anywhere
The ability to collaborate asynchronously from any platform comes in especially handy when your team members are in different time zones or on different schedules. A persistent, collaborative workspace serves as the focal point of meetings in which team members attend virtually. Infolio's automatic notification features also break down the barriers to communication that physical distance and time differences can otherwise create. Infolio project workspaces are even available offline on iPad/iPhone. Infolio's integrated chat feature also makes it possible to ask those one-on-one, detailed follow-up questions without interrupting the meeting flow.
In short, meetings no longer have to be tedious and unproductive. To learn more about how Infolio will help you to run more productive meetings and free up your time, contact us today.
P. S. We created Infolio with love, and are committed to continually improving it. Your feedback is precious to us! In case you have ideas on how we can make Infolio better for you - please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is more to come - we will keep you posted!