Meetings to solve a specific problem happening now tend to be focused, specific. How are we going to solve this particular issue? What is the plan to launch this campaign? Who needs to do what, when? These meetings are narrow, often rigid and often have a more ‘closed’ posture.
Other meetings are expansive, more fluid, explorational. How will trend X impact us in 2 years? What are our strategic priorities in this next phase of development? What contribution does our organisation want to make to our local community in the years ahead? Who are we becoming? These meetings have just enough structure, but not too much.
While the first type of meetings tend to clearly stay on the page; the second type of meetings explore the edges and sometimes intentionally march off the map.
Being clear on what type of meeting we are in makes all the difference. Thinking you are in one type of meeting, while actually being in the other type, leads to enormous frustration and angst. Avoidable angst.
Oh yes! I suspect that few meetings are that intentional and as a consequence suffer badly (and misuse people’s time and energy).