While you may have planned out an agenda for your next team meeting, it's possible that attendees will bring up unexpected items that need to be addressed in addition to what you had prepared. To be sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle, have processes in place to document exactly what was covered, and who will be the designated person to follow up on those items.
A. Add Tasks to a To-Do List
After an important meeting, I create a list of action items and copy them to my computer. For instance, when I have a meeting on the phone, I take notes on post-its or in my notebook. I use these notes to create a list of action items and add it to my Evernote to-do list. In the case of an existing client, I turn the action items into tickets in Jira or Trello. - John Arroyo, Arroyo Labs, Inc.
A. Follow Up Immediately
Whenever I leave any meeting, upon returning to my office I always follow up with a list of key takeaways. This guarantees that I understood the points of the meetings and helps set necessary goals going forward. It also helps to quickly erase any confusion with any members of the meeting or determine if a follow-up call or meeting is necessary. - Nick Francis, The Franchise Group
A. Reiterate Why Decisions Were Made
We have meetings when there are decisions to be made. All of us are capable of managing our tasks and most of what we do involves us creating our own timelines and to-dos. Our job as a collective is to work towards a shared vision, and part of establishing a shared vision is to reiterate, remind and agree upon why we do what we are doing. Our meeting notes reiterate why we decided to do what we did. - Vivek Narayan, GorMonjee Inc
A. Send an Action Plan
Send a follow-up email with clear and concise action items, deadlines and responsibilities so that everyone stays on the same page, there is no room for confusion and everyone is held accountable. If there are any pending issues or tabled items for future discussion, include those as well for your next meeting. - Angela Delmedico, Elev8 Consulting Group
A. Set Reminders
To make sure productivity doesn't slow after you walk out of the room, do two things after and in between meetings: Quickly send out clear and concise meeting notes, and follow up on the commitments made. - Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
A. Stay in Touch
Follow up with everyone. Send out an email that briefly outlines what was accomplished and goes over each attendee's tasks. This will ensure everyone remembers what they need to do - and that no one has any excuse for going off-task. - Steven Buchwald, The E2 Visa Lawyer
A. Review Notes
Documenting notes during the meeting and sending out agreed-upon action items right after the meeting clarifies responsibilities, deadlines and milestones. I've used meeting notes in the past to help confirm any decisions made, confirm action items and responsibility, and clarify any "grey areas" discussed during the meeting to prompt action from stakeholders/staff as needed. - Nadia Hansen, Result Logix
These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.