EAM Manager's Guide to Productive Meetings

Posted by Cohesive Solutions on May 12, 2020


“This company has too many meetings."

Throughout my career I’ve heard more times than I can remember.  I challenge that notion. I believe we do not have too many meetings, we have too many poorly conducted meetings. 

How can you tell if your company has a POOR meeting problem?

  1. Are people using their computers reading e-mails, surfing the internet, etc.?
  2. Are people having sidebar conversations?
  3. Are people nodding off, not engaged?
  4. Do people show up late as the norm not the exception?
  5. Do your employees complain that they cannot get their work done because they have to go to so many meetings?

If this sounds familiar, here’s a word of encouragement – it doesn’t have to be this way.

As a former Utility Corporate director in charge of asset management, I held three types of meetings and ensured they:

  1. Started on time
  2. Were engaging
  3. Were productive
  4. Made in impact

The three types of meetings and tips for each:

Daily Check In

  • Purpose: This is a daily check in meeting 
  • Duration is short – about 15 minutes with the same purpose every time
  • No questions, no conversations, facts only
  • Reporting on questions like: what did you do yesterday? How much did you produce? Any safety issues? Environmental Issues? Downtime Issues?
  • Move on, questions or topics that arise during the meeting are handled on a 1-1 offline

Tactical Meeting

  • Purpose: make a decision or change
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Rigid agenda and agenda keeper required
  • The only attendees are those that 1) care about the topic 2) are affected by it 3) have an effect on it
  • Topic discussed is limited to the subject only. Minutes keeper writes down any off subject topics with the assignment to schedule a separate meeting for those topics
  • Tip: ask for a ‘no computer’ policy if you feel computers are a distraction during these meetings. A pen and paperwork just fine for note taking

Strategic Meeting

  • Purpose: To set strategy and direction, make a change
  • duration: 4 hours – 2 days 
  • Free flowing; no agenda, brainstorming and “out of the box” thinking is encouraged
  • May be a follow up meeting to the tactical meeting (“how do we put this into play?”)


Running productive meetings is a key component in implementing strategies and processes within your organization that foster sustainable and continuous improvement.

What are your tips to running productive and impactful meetings? Let us know below in the comments.


Written by Cohesive Solutions

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