Considering the cost in time and energy, it is important to reconsider the purpose and structure of each meeting. How might these questions help:

Q: What is the desired outcome of this meeting?

Q: Could we achieve that outcome in a different way?

Q: How could we structure this meeting for maximum effectiveness? (agenda, attendees, rules…)

Reflect on your organisation’s culture:

Q: What is our culture around meetings?

Q: What value is being created or destroyed through our meetings?

Tom’s Reflection on This Question

This is perhaps one of the most important day-to-day questions for any leader. Whilst in theory meetings are positive because they help build strategic and tactical alignment, in practice they come with significant costs.

The above questions ask you to truly dive deep and reflect on why a meeting is required. What will it accomplish? Is there a better way?

Even if the decision is that a meeting is the only way, the actual content and structure of the meeting are absolutely key. In essence:

  • Who should be there?
    • Do they all need to be there for the whole meeting?
  • What needs to be discussed?
    • Also play with the word “discuss”. If one person is talking or presenting there may be different or better ways to share these messages.
  • How will this meeting create value?
    • What value will it destroy?
  • What are the (written and unwritten) rules of the meeting?
    • Every human interaction has rules.
    • Ask yourself, who is setting the agenda?
    • How is time allocated to each item?
    • Who is entitled to speak and to question?
    • Who actually decides?
    • What role is each person playing? (speaker, listener, rule-maker, rule-taker, high status, low status, in-group, out-group….).
    • What format will the meeting take?
    • Where will it be held? Why?
    • What behaviour is dictated by company culture?

Programme Overview

The Curious Leaders programme is designed to foster a deep sense of curiosity about who you are as a person and as a leader. It challenges you to reflect on what you can do each day to become a more effective leader. The premise is that before we can truly lead others, we first need to lead ourselves.

It thus ultimately starts with self-leadership. This is about building a practice of reflection and action whereby we become increasingly curious about how our thinking is impacting our actions. This is the first step in building a world in which curiosity shapes leadership.

In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. In truth, nurturing curiosity in leadership is essential if we are to address the key challenges of the 21st century.