One of my favourite things about my working place in 2011 (in an animation production house) is Meeting. I mean, the management side of it: how it held, how it goes and how it end. And to be able to see my point, you have to try to sit and view from my point of view, as one of the production team.
For a meeting to be hold, first thing first we have to know what is THE AGENDA. The purpose of the meeting. And it should be clear. We won’t need a meeting just to check on spelling or information updates. It has to be on confirmation level, minimum. Usually from one department to another.
From there we will know who will be THE ATTENDEES. That is everyone who directly in connections with the agenda(s), including those will get affected by. In email terms, we can say those who is addressed To, and CCed. Sometimes we only need ‘To’ people, the rest can read the Minute Meeting later on.
when and where
Now we can setup THE TIME AND PLACE. In my case, because all the attendees are only 200 meters away maximum, I can easily check on them one by one and pick an available place at the time. In my experiences, time goes first, place comes end. It always easier to manage the place than the time. There goes, priority is, people will committed on time.
There’s always someone who will LEAD the meeting. He/she will need to be the mediator, or say, the host of the meeting. He/she will say ‘welcome’, makes sure the agenda(s) addressed to each attendees, take note, make conclusions at the end, and again say ‘thank you’ to end the meeting.
In my workplace, we usually have this Minute Meeting, where all the agendas and action plans decided will put down on a paper and send to the attendees by email. There’s a lot of other different names for such Minute Meeting, but the point is always the same: MEETING REPORT.
one with the executives
One of my executives, who is the head of several productions, used to say that a meeting will ONLY EFFECTIVE WHEN IT’S LAST FOR 15 MINUTES. 30 minutes, tops. More than that? People will loose focus and so does the meeting. And we’re just a bunch of people hanging around in the same room, busy with our own business.
Once, we had this meeting, all the attendees are executives, those are most interesting one. Because they’re all on time, discipline with place, agendas and any rules following with it. They talks fast, so you will think if you don’t learn about the material one week before, you will get lost. Fact is, this kind of meeting usually held once for every 2 days. Worst, every 5 hours. So yeah, you may want to have a good simple notebook you will be able to bring everywhere.
The only minus thing with these executives meeting, THEY WON’T WAIT FOR ANOTHER. Everybody has to be on time, on place, sometimes, on the right manner. But you can’t plan such thing like chaos, when one has to join in a couple minutes later, this caused other attendees will have to wait to start. And most of the times, they won’t wait. Or in my experience with one of executives, he will get grumpy. I usually count until 10-usually only until 6, before I can see him walk out the door. Meanings, I have to call him back when everyone is ready.
the mind wonders
Sometimes I wonder my self, if they’re the executives, why are they still have to caught in other thing when it’s time to have a meeting? A scheduled one, even. Must be big-big boss, or client. Hmm, I don’t know. For me, it’s still a wonder. Once I have 9 meetings in one day/10 hours. That means, roughly, there’s a meeting in every hour. I almost get my self on the ground and almost never touch the computer. Running here and there only with my notepad and pen.
another case-somewhere between
My boyfriend at the time, PNJ, had a meeting one day, with a potential upcoming singer. He said there’s a new project for him to joining in. I guess, that’s the agenda. And we know the attendees, PNJ, the singer her self, maybe her manager, and a laptop to make schedule for the project. Okay. PNJ told me the meeting will be held at 9 PM. Geez, that’s real Freelance world, I guess.
Then, he informed me that everyone gathered at 10.15 PM. At 23.53, he sent me SMS, told me that he got a good offer. I guess it took them 2 hours to get into the agenda of the meeting. PNJ still have the meeting at 02.21, now, they started to work on the music, the song. Like a workshop, he said. At this moment he told me the place of the meeting, in a café. Yeah, I figured.
Songwriter comes and joining, and this caused them to have a long ‘actions decided’ part of the meeting. Roughly, more than 2 hours. Hell, they even start to work on the project! … at 2 am in the morning! Whooosshhhh…
I told PNJ, what kind of meeting held until 2 am in the morning? PNJ left the meeting place at 02.36 am. Let me know by SMS, and finally home at 03.42 am.
the best way to have it here
I joined a film production last year, titled Soegija. And I put the meeting form for the test, like my previous Supervisor taught me. We have a Director who actually thinks about everything else also. So when he talk, it means he talked about everything. At least about one thing, but definitely, will affect everything else. So when he talked, you (automatically) want to be there to stay alert with updates.
Unless when we run through script, shooting schedule, master breakdown or extras breakdown, we only held meeting for maximum one hour. And when the Director attended, it never last more than a half hour.
the secret reveals
This is my very personal secret, I’ve learned from my experiences, but I’m happy to let you know, how to detect the differences between an efficient ones and a wasted ones: the effective one will ‘give’ birth to smaller groups after the meeting closed, meanwhile the wasted one already breaks into small groups when the meeting is in progress.
So when you have a meeting with 10 attendees and there’s more than 1 people talking in the meeting-at the same time-, that’s when you know that it’s not effective. That’s when you know people should gather around in a cafe for dinner instead.
One of my friend told me, meeting people is not easy. But actually, I think, it is, as long as you know how. Stay alive and keep your self from being killed by an endless wasted meeting from now on! Have an effective ones, and save your life! 😀
And yes, let those people who comes late read the minute meeting. Everyone else can keep goes on 😉