The Perfect Agenda
I’m going to keep this chapter pretty simple. I was recently asked what an agenda is, which was kind of alarming to me. The person who asked me had been doing business by the seat of his pants for thirty years and only invested in cash-in-hand endeavors. He never really attended a meeting that followed an agenda, mostly dealing in phone calls and handshakes. So, for those of you who want to know…
Wikipedia describes an agenda as follows: An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, by beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be discussed. It may, but is not required to, include specific times for one or more activities. An agenda may also be called a docket.
Basically, an agenda is a list of things to do that a group of people use to stay on task. Most of the time agendas are accompanied by meeting minutes (notes from the last meeting). I’m going to give you a simplified version of an agenda. If it’s your first meeting you shouldn’t need minutes, but record them if you like. The following list of topics is a simplified list of things to cover in a new tech based startup company. Observe how everything is straight to the point and also leaves space for notes.
Mobile web application
(Example of a basic agenda)
Most agendas go out to the meeting participants days before the actual meeting is conducted. It is a great idea to send out the meeting agenda a week or so ahead of time so that the meeting can go as smoothly as possible. Remember, what can go wrong will go wrong.
Make sure that each topic is covered before you go on to the next topic. Also, make sure that someone is keeping track of what’s being said in the meeting. If need be, record the meeting with a tape recorder or an Echo Pen. Think of them as your own personal court stenographer. When you follow up the next meeting, you should have everything you need to be prepared to address whatever needs to be addressed.