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The 5 Key Elements Of A Successful Strategic Meeting | Dive

A successful strategic meeting doesn't happen by accident. With these 5 key elements and strategies for effective meetings, you can ensure your meeting is a success.

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Meetings can be incredibly productive, but they can also be incredibly frustrating. Many of us have been in meetings that are not strategic at all and feel like a complete waste of time. Whether it’s because the meeting was disorganized, the agenda wasn’t clear, or the discussion was off-topic, unproductive meetings can be a huge source of frustration.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to conduct effective meetings. Whether you’re leading a team or attending a meeting as a participant, there are steps you can take to ensure that the meeting is productive, efficient, and effective. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best strategies for effective meetings.


The Importance of Effective Meetings

Meetings are essential for achieving organizational and team goals, and they are also critical for decision-making, strategic planning, and collaboration. When conducted effectively, meetings can save time and money, improve communication, and increase productivity. However, when meetings are not well planned and executed, they can be a waste of time and resources.

A bad meeting can be frustrating for everyone involved, leading to decreased morale and productivity. A poorly planned meeting can leave attendees feeling confused and unsure of what was accomplished. A poorly executed meeting can lead to missed opportunities and delays in decision-making.


8 steps to run an effective meeting

Start with a clear agenda

One of the most important steps in conducting a successful meeting is to start with a clear and effective agenda. A meeting agenda is a list of topics or items that will be discussed during the meeting. By creating an agenda, you can ensure that everyone knows what to expect from the meeting and that you stay on track.

Your agenda should include the following:

  • The purpose of the meeting
  • A list of topics to be discussed
  • The amount of time allocated to each topic
  • The names of the people responsible for each topic

Make sure to give everyone a copy of the agenda before the meeting. This will give everyone a chance to prepare and make sure they can take part in the conversation.

Invite the right people

Another important step in conducting an effective meeting is to invite the right people. Make sure that everyone who needs to be at the meeting is invited, but also make sure that you’re not inviting people who don’t need to be there.

If you’re not sure who to invite, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who has information or expertise that’s relevant to the topics being discussed?
  • Who will be affected by the decisions that are made during the meeting?
  • Who needs to be involved in the implementation of any decisions made during the meeting?

By inviting the right people, you can ensure that the meeting is productive and that decisions are made by the people who need to make them.

Set ground rules

It's important to set some ground rules before the meeting starts. Ground rules are guidelines that everyone needs to follow during the meeting. 

Some common ground rules include:

  • No interruptions
  • One person speaks at a time
  • Stay on topic
  • Respect everyone’s opinions

By setting the following ground rules, you can ensure that the meeting is respectful, efficient, and productive.

Manage the discussion

During the meeting, it’s important to manage the discussion. This means ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak, that the discussion stays on track, and that the meeting stays within the allotted time frame.

To manage the discussion, try the following:

  • Start by introducing the topic and asking for input
  • Encourage everyone to contribute, but make sure no one person dominates the discussion
  • Ask clarifying questions to ensure that everyone understands the topic
  • Keep the discussion on track by redirecting the conversation if it strays off-topic
  • If necessary, set a time limit for the discussion

By managing the discussion, you can make sure the meeting stays on track and everyone gets a chance to talk.

Assign action items

At the end of the meeting, it’s important to assign action items. Action items are tasks that need to be completed as a result of the meeting. By assigning action items, you can ensure that everyone knows what they need to do next and that progress is made.

When assigning action items, make sure to do the following:

  • Assign each task to a specific person
  • Set a deadline for each task
  • Clearly communicate the expectations for each task
  • Follow up on progress at the next meeting

By giving people "action items," you can make sure that the decisions made at the meeting are put into action and that the team is making progress toward its goals.

Follow up after the meeting

Source: Pexels

After the meeting is over, it’s important to follow up. This includes sending out a meeting recap, which is a summary of the discussion and decisions made during the meeting. The meeting recap should include the following:

  • The date and time of the meeting
  • The names of the attendees
  • A summary of the discussion
  • Decisions made during the meeting
  • Action items assigned and deadlines

Use dive to improve meetings

In today’s digital age, many tools are available to help improve meetings. For example, Dive automatically takes meeting notes, assigns action items, and creates a meeting summary that is easily searchable and
shareable with your team. This way, you never have to wonder what was discussed in a meeting again.

By using tools like Dive, you can improve meetings, and increase efficiency, productivity, and collaboration.

Continuously evaluate and improve

Finally, it’s important to continuously evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your meetings. This includes asking for feedback from participants, analyzing meeting minutes to identify areas for improvement, and making changes to the meeting process as necessary.

Some questions to ask when evaluating the effectiveness of your meetings include:

  • Did the meeting achieve its objectives?
  • Were all participants engaged and involved in the discussion?
  • Were action items assigned and completed?
  • Was the meeting well-organized and efficient?

By continuously evaluating and improving the effectiveness of your meetings, you can ensure that they continue to be productive and beneficial for everyone involved.


Effective meetings - tips for maximizing results

Engage in an activity:

Engaging in an activity at the start of a meeting can help attendees feel more comfortable and build rapport. Effective meeting strategies may include activities such as icebreakers, team-building exercises, or problem-solving activities that are relevant to the meeting's strategic goals.

Here are some IceBreakers you can use in your next meeting:

  • If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one beverage of choice, what would it be?
  • If you could choose any entrance theme song to play whenever you walked into a room, what would it be?
  • If you had a time machine, which time period would you visit?
  • Which cartoon character do you relate to the most and why?
  • Which fictional character do you most relate with and why?
  • How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?
  • What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
  • What's the funniest story you have ever heard?
  • What's your favorite breakfast food and why?
  • How would you describe our company culture in three words?

Check out our blog for a list of 60 icebreakers you can try at your next virtual team meeting.

Determine if the meeting needs to happen at all:

One of the most common complaints about business meetings is that they waste valuable time. To avoid this, you as a meeting organizer should determine if the meeting is necessary in the first place. You should also set a clear meeting objective, agenda, and action plan to keep the meeting on track and productive as we discussed.

Harvard Business Review surveyed 182 senior managers in a range of industries: 65% said meetings keep them from completing their own work. 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking. 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.

We recommend that senior-level meeting executives invite only those meeting attendees who are directly involved in the meeting's strategic planning process to avoid unproductive meetings.

Don't use PowerPoints:

While PowerPoints can be an effective way to present information, they can also be a waste of valuable meeting time. Instead, use a collaborative process to discuss and brainstorm ideas, share experiences, and make collective decisions.

Jeff Bezos, in his letter to shareholders in Amazon's annual report, stated "We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon." Instead, they write narratively structured six-page memos. and silently read one at the beginning of each meeting.

Encourage Participation

Source: Pexels

Encourage participation from all attendees by creating a safe and open environment for discussion. This can be achieved by actively listening to everyone's ideas and opinions, encouraging questions and feedback, and ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute.

Set Time Limits

Time is a valuable resource, and meetings can quickly become unproductive if they go on for too long. To prevent this from happening, set time limits for each agenda item and stick to them. This will help to keep the meeting on track and ensure that all necessary topics are covered within the allotted time.

Foster Collaborative Decision-Making

Encourage collaborative decision-making by creating a safe and open environment for discussion. This can be achieved by actively listening to everyone's ideas and opinions, encouraging questions and feedback, and ensuring everyone have an equal opportunity to contribute.

Use Data to Support Decisions

Use data to support decisions made during the meeting. This can be achieved by presenting relevant data and analysis that supports the decision-making process. Data can help make sure that decisions are made based on facts and not on personal opinions or biases.



Use meeting minutes or notes to capture the meeting's action items and strategic objectives. It's important to ensure that meeting participants are engaged and actively participating in the meeting, especially during virtual meetings.

Effective meetings require the involvement of the right people. Careful consideration should be given to the invite list to ensure that those who attend the meeting are directly involved in the decision-making process and have the necessary expertise to contribute to the discussion.

Additionally, it's important to have a collaborative process that encourages discussion and brainstorming, as this can lead to better decision-making and a more successful outcome. The meeting environment should be conducive to open communication and participation, allowing all attendees to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions.

Finally, follow-up after the meeting is crucial to ensure that action items are completed, decisions are implemented, and progress is tracked. Meeting notes or minutes should be shared with all attendees, and there should be a clear plan for follow-up communication and the next steps.

By implementing these strategies, your organization can conduct effective meetings that support your strategic objectives, promote collaboration and decision-making, and drive success. One more thing you can do to make your meetings more effective and productive is to use Dive. 

Dive is an AI-powered meeting assistant that helps your team prepare for their meetings ahead of time, automatically takes notes, action items, and key takeaways during meetings, collaboratively prepare for, run, and follow up on meetings.

[Download Free Chrome Extension] [Get Started with Dive]




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