Future Fit # 18: On becoming an adaptive leader: Meetings!

TomorrowToday has promised to help you start the journey towards being future fit – to becoming an adaptive leader. Being merely a ‘good leader’ will not suffice when it comes to meeting the challenge of the future. You will need to be a great leader and a ‘great leader’ is someone who understanding and practices adaptive leadership. This is part of a ‘boot camp’ through which we help you begin the journey of becoming future fit; we help you in the process of becoming an adaptive leader. Each ‘session’ is designed around a thought-bullet (Head) and an action point (Hand) – something to think about and something to try out. We have promised to keep the ‘head’ part to under a minute and the practical part (hand)…well, that is up to you.

ladders into the skyFuture Fit # 18: Meetings, bloody meetings!

The title, ‘Meetings, bloody meetings’ originates from an old John Cleese management video and it pretty much sums up what most think about meetings. However, meetings are important given that they reveal how power is distributed; how information is disseminated and are the place where decisions get made. The way in which meetings are managed will reveal a lot about your organization’s culture and efficiency. Smart leaders understand the role and opportunity that meetings represent and they are willing to experiment with the meeting ‘DNA’ as well as constantly evaluate the effectiveness of the meetings taking place. Adaptive leaders understand the importance of well oiled meetings and what they contribute to the learning, information flow, motivation and agility of the organisation.

Do a quick ‘meetings audit’ and calculate how many meetings you are part of in a week / month; how much time do these meetings take? Think of ways to sharpen the meeting focus within your organisation. Distinguish between meetings that are primarily for information distribution and those where decisions need to get made. How does the information flow (from the meeting into the rest of the organization) take place? What would happen if you made meetings voluntary? What if you changed the location of the meeting? Only had stand-up meetings (no chairs)? Who leads the meeting and why? To what extent is ‘out-of-the-box’ brainstorming valued? To what extent do those leading the meetings understand the importance of different roles within meetings – roles such as Facilitator, Inquisitor, Provocateur or Decision-maker? What would happen if you asked – really asked, those in a meeting how they would do things differently when it came to the meeting – or even if there should be a meeting? Read Ricardo Semler’s book Maverick and see what he has to say about meetings. There will be lots of other great insights that Semler offers besides one’s approach to meetings.

Index of Adaptive Leader series
Click here to see the full list of the Future Fit ‘sessions’


  1. So you want to become a great leader? | TomorrowToday - December 17, 2013

    […] Future Fit # 18: Meetings! […]

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