"Um. I don't know."
"I can't remember either."
Well, at least I wasn't the only one. Still, how many times had I sat through what should have been important meetings and seen nothing concrete result from it. Right there and then I invented ADA. No, it's not the American Dental Association. And it's not rocket science. I'm sure others have utilized versions of similar systems, but I haven't heard of them. It stands for Actions Decisions Assignments. It's a simple three step process that has the potential to greatly enhance the effectiveness of meetings.
Simply put, at the end of every meeting someone needs to say, "Let's review. What Actions will we take? What Decisions did we make? What Assignments did we make?" Then they write it down. You don't need to be the leader to do this. In fact, sometimes it's better for a peer to do it. Ideally, whoever writes it down can send a quick email after the meeting to remind everyone of what needs to happen going forward.
So, what do you do when you get to the end of a meeting and realize no actions, decisions, or assignments have been made? Well, you either need to keep meeting to drive some things to conclusion or recognize that this meeting could have simply been avoided and cancel all future meetings of its kind. So, now you have more effective meetings and fewer meetings altogether!
What about you? What's your best tip for more effective meetings?