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How to Stay Organized with Leadership Team Meetings? – Ask An Admin

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Welcome to another question for Ask an Admin – Admin to Admin Advice. This is where you submit the question and your peers answer your question. We believe that there are many different ways to approach problems, difficult tasks, and situations so we thought this would be a great way to provide you a place to share your input as well as receive input from others.

 

This week’s question is:

In my many years of working, I have never been so involved with the Leadership Team.  This is a good thing and a big learning curve for me.

In starting 2019 off on hopefully on the right foot, I am looking for advice on how to stay organized with all the meetings.  Making sure agendas are going out timely, meeting with leaders to create the agenda, taking notes, bringing attention to meetings,  etc.

I would like to know of any system that works on how to stay organized with possible at a glance template to show the leadership team what all is going on.

 

This is a wonderful question! It can be very difficult to stay organized with so many moving parts. So what is the best system you know of or what is it that you do to tackle this tough situation?

 

It’s your turn to give your advice, tips, tricks, and anything else you have to offer up. Place your comments or advice in the comment section below.

 

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13 thoughts on “How to Stay Organized with Leadership Team Meetings? – Ask An Admin”

  1. Outlook Calendar is my Go-To organizational tool. I use it for just about everything from adding company holidays, my Executive’s travel schedule (flights, hotel and ground transportation), and also to schedule recurring meetings as well as make notes on certain days for things that are due, like Agendas or project items that are due.

    If you are responsible for creating and keep tracking of Agendas, send a recurring meeting invitation a week before the meeting to meet with the meeting owner(s) to discuss the Agenda. If an actual meeting is not required with the meeting owner, email the owner a Template Agenda and ask them to fill it in and send it back. You can then send the Agenda to all meeting attendees from the Recurring Meeting.

    In my opinion, all meetings have an owner, someone who runs the meeting. Which means the owner is the one who should provide the dial in number and the Agenda. It keeps things simple.

    Reminders the best way I’ve found to get people to respond and keep everything on track. For example, if you are not actually meeting with the meeting owner(s), set a reminder note on your calendar the week or two before a meeting to send a reminder email to the owner(s) that Agenda items are due back to you. And always give a due date. For those that haven’t responded by the due date, send out another reminder with a due date. Then, yet another “Last Call” Reminder. Three times is probably more than you need.

    The Outlook meeting should be very specific and include these basics about a meeting:
    -Subject
    -Location (if in a meeting room or a dial in number)
    -Start Time, End Time
    -Other information in the text area, like the Agenda or other important information about the meeting. I also like to include who the call Leader is, so everyone knows who is leading the call and will open up the line.

    Consistency and simplicity is key. Once you establish a consistent rhythm, everyone will know what to expect and your Leadership Team will know they can count on you to make everything run smoothly.

    Good luck!

    1. I would also add that in addition to Outlook, Microsoft OneNote is an awesome way to keep up with the notes, agendas and tasks. You can share the OneNote notebook with all the participants. Using Outlook and OneNote together, you can see a list of all the participants, who attended, keep the notes updated for everyone to review at a later time.

  2. We use a combination of Slack where we have a Leadership channel to post notes from meetings, articles and follow ups as well as Google Drive, where all of the notes, follow ups and materials are kept.
    Our previous CEO had Leadership meetings once a month, but now our new CEO has made them a priority and are now weekly, so lots of moving parts and pieces to keep organized and do so through these tools

  3. I agree with Katherine. I use Outlook to setup recurring reminders for myself to solicit additional agenda items, send the agendas, follow-up with specific people post-meeting, etc. I have my reminders color-coded as well. I also keep a folder for each meeting on my shared drive and I have an agenda tracker (Excel sheet) setup for each meeting. If I’m in a meeting and something comes up for the next meeting, I add that to the tracker along with standing agenda items, etc. It keeps me a little more organized so I’m not scrambling every month. I hope this helps!!

  4. Office 365 has a great feature called Teams. It works like google drive but in a more secure environment for business. You can share documents in the teams site and work collaboratively in them at the same time (like google docs). This could be helpful if your leadership team members do a lot of work after hours or on the road. It also has a planner app that can be incorporated in the teams site that works like a calendar and you can even assign tasks from within the planner app.

  5. This is one of the favorite parts of my job!

    We use Dropbox (soon to be OneDrive). In my Executive Team folder (that all executives can access) I have a folder for Minutes and Agendas. Everything is in that one folder, so no one must click into the right year or month folders. The files are named YYYY-MM-DD Minutes Executive Team or YYYY-MM-DD Agenda Executive Team so that it can be sorted easily with the most recent on top. (For example, 2019-01-24 Agenda Executive Team Meeting.)

    I set up my meeting in Outlook with a reminder one week prior to the meeting. At that time, I email the executives for any agenda items. (Executives also know they can email me any time with any agenda items that pop up between meetings.)

    Once I complete that email, I snooze the reminder for two days. When it pops up again five days prior to the meeting, I go to my exec (the president) for him to prioritize the agenda items. (I put them in the order of priority that I think he will want to make things easier.) These meetings are not scheduled separately because we touch base at least once a day already.

    When the agenda is finalized, I create the email to distribute it and any other materials that need to go, scheduling the email to distribute 24 hours in advance of the meeting. I use Outlook’s Delay Delivery for this. That way I don’t forget!

    After the meeting, I complete the minutes with the list of to-do items that were assigned. I immediately start the agenda for the next meeting. If needed, I provide reminders between meetings for any big to-do items that could hold up the team if it doesn’t get done.

    Then I start the process all over again.

    NOTE: I am still fine tuning the process with the Outlook reminders because we recently moved from Google to Outlook. Google allowed me to set multiple reminders on an event, so I didn’t have to worry about resetting or snoozing my one alarm. If anyone has a better suggestion for this, I would be thrilled to hear it!

    Good luck!

  6. We have Leadership Teams once a month. As an FYI – my executive requires that pre-reads be available five business days before the meeting so the team can come to the meeting prepared to make decisions.

    Ten business days before the meeting, I will send out an email – Call for Topics – RDLT Meeting (date) – to the members of the team. They are asked to send their topics, along with the amount of time needed for each topic back to me with a due date of five days out. In the email there is an embedded link for the Shareroom for the pre-reads to be uploaded to. The email is set up with a reminder on the date due so no one has an excuse for not sending in their topics as they all get pop-up reminders. The minutes from the previous meeting are also included in the email as a refresher in case there was an action idea that they need to be reminded of. 🙂

    Since we are also a global company, I will ask where they are attending from (if not at the assigned location) so I can make sure that I have the necessary Skype/Video conferencing arrangements made.

    After compiling the topics and time limits, I will send out a draft agenda for review to my executive and the team. They will also be reminded that the pre-reads need to be uploaded to the Shareroom.

    The agenda will stay in draft mode for a day or so before it is finalized.

    To make this easier for me, I have reminders set up on my calendar for 10 days and 5 days prior to the meetings for all of the meetings.

    I hope this helps you. I know that it made a world of difference for me, and it took a lot of the stress off.

    1. Brenda,

      Thanks for your post, it is very helpful. You stated “The email is set up with a reminder on the date due so no one has an excuse for not sending in their topics as they all get pop-up reminders. ” Will you expand on that statement? Is it possible to add a due date to an Outlook email? Thank you.

      1. Hello Gloria,
        To set a Due date in an email in Outlook, first start by creating a new email. Click on the Follow Up drop down and you will see the choices for the follow up. Select Custom, which is towards the bottom. There are two options – “Flag for Me” and “Flag for Recipients”. I check both options and set the Reminder for the same date and time for both flags. The Due date is the same date I note in the email for the due date for the Call for Topics. I normally select 9:00 AM so they will get the reminder in the morning and remember that it is due. You and the email recipients will get a pop-up reminder at the date/time you set. This appears the same as a calendar reminder, you can dismiss it or click on snooze. I hope this helps!

  7. We use Google Drive. It is a great collaborative tool. I have a folder in Drive named: Meeting Agendas and Minutes. Inside that folder is a folder for each year (2019). Inside each year’s folder is a folder for each month and inside each month’s folder is the agenda template for each week. (My executives meet biweekly). I have a template set-up for each meeting so that each senior team member can add their team update bullets under their division name on the template prior to the meeting.
    It works great and we don’t have to deal with paper and the minutes are simple and always accessible.

  8. I can speak to some of these moving parts, but not all. My advice would be to start by making a list of all the steps involved in making your meetings a success. Look at that list for patterns of items that need to be done for each meeting and try to automate those so you don’t have to focus on remembering them.
    When I have projects with recurring parts (send agenda to attendees, share meeting minutes, etc) I schedule those tasks on my calendar at their set interval (ie. monthly) with the understanding if it’s on the calendar it gets done. I find that by automating these few tasks, it frees my mind to focus on the items I can’t necessarily automate, plus I don’t stress about forgetting or missing something. I highly recommend even scheduling recurrent sit downs with any of the attendees you need information from ahead of time as well. It helps create a rhythm and a routine. Hope that’s helpful.

  9. Katherine Morgan

    I use Microsoft Outlook, so I set up recurring reminders for regularly occurring meetings. I use those reminders to remind me to send out agendas, make sure technology is set up (such as scheduling online connectivity, if needed). send out reminders, etc.
    I’ve also learned that the more I do something, the easier it gets. So hang in there and good luck!

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