Do you ever wonder how much money, not to mention momentum, is spent on executive meetings? I’m thinking about the off-site meetings, perhaps involving travel and usually multiple days. Many organizations conduct these meetings out of habit. Once the march to the sea begins, few question why the meeting is being held. It’s a ‘fill the schedule’ exercise that has little chance of improving anything.

Before you commit your time, money, reputation and traction to such a meeting, ask yourself:

1. What is the objective?

2. How will we determine if the objective(s) is/are met?

3. Why is achieving the objective of value?

4. Will we identify priorities, follow-up actions and accountability?

An objective I hear often is to get the group no the same page. OK, fine. How will you know? You won’t know during the meeting. You will know later by the behaviors back at the office. What are those? How do you know it if you see it?

If you don’t establish accountability, timing and expected outcomes, you will not benefit from the time spent to get on the same page. You won’t be alone but that’s small comfort.

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