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Meeting Minutes Alternative

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I hate taking meeting minutes.

Minutes are the instant written record of a meeting. They usually describe what happens in a meeting, include a list of participants, major topics discussed, points raised on those topics, and solutions (if any) to those topics. It sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Why do people hate being minute takers? In my experience, it is very difficult to take minutes lens and take part in the discussion at the same time. Even after the meeting, it takes time to write and distribute the minutes. To top it off, you feel like this is a pointless duty because we knows that few people read them.

So my recommendation is to change the concept of the protocol to one that people will be happy and even eager to read. Unless you need traditional minutes for legal purposes, consider the following meeting minutes alternative.

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What do people want to know about a meeting? Essentially, people are interested in the decisions that will be made in the meeting and what will happen next. Because of this, create a “decision-making body”. This is a flipchart on which you record each agenda item (a brief statement or heading, not a paragraph) and all decisions made on that topic. For example:

Agenda item #1: Marketing new products Decision: Identify the appropriate audience for this product and schedule three focus groups with them. show prototype. Must be ready in 60 days from now. Peg will lead this effort.

This captures the bottom line of every discussion you’ve had. This includes what happened in the meeting so anyone who didn’t attend knows what’s going to happen.

Note: A decision-making body may also include a decision to postpone a final decision until the next meeting.

For example, Agenda item #2: budget cuts Decision: No decision made. Everyone should review their estimated spending by the end of the year and present that figure for further discussion at the next meeting on November 1st.

The value of a decision board is that it reminds the group of what was decided and provides members with a focused set of immediate minutes.

I recommend copying out the decision panel and sending it out after the meeting as a reminder of what has been achieved. It becomes easy and time-efficient to review for both attendees and those who didn’t attend the meeting.

So, creating a decision board as an alternative to meeting minutes will improve participation and create more effective meetings!

Thanks to Peg Kelley

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