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Architecting Your Meetings

Updated: May 21, 2019

Each type of meeting has its unique goals and requisites

Each type of meeting has its unique goals and requisites

1. Think Tank GOAL: Builds innovation, 4-10 participants


  • Tools, technology office supplies, equipment

  • Creative mindset, permission

2. Decisions and Governance GOAL: Builds direction, 6-10 participants stable group


  • Complete data and time management

  • Decision-making process, accountability process

3. Reports and Roll Out

GOAL: Builds consistency and timely implementation, 8-50 participants


  • Advanced preparation and reading, roll out packets

  • Strong meeting leadership and time management

4. Training

GOAL: Builds skills, 4-40 participants


  • Trainer, materials

  • Activities to learn by doing

Architecting the right type of meeting structure makes or breaks business results

Meetings are expensive and time-consuming. They are the most important aspect of your operations to get right, for a multitude of business, culture, and effectiveness reasons. Yet companies spend very little time architecting meetings to fit their business goals. Each type of meeting has its goals and requisites.

  1. INNOVATION. Think Tank is a wonderful way to build innovation, and requires 4-10 participants, and tools, technology, a creative mindset and lots of permission.

  2. DIRECTION. Decision and Governance builds direction in the most effective way, requires 6-10 participants in a stable group. It requires that there be excellent data and time management, and a clear way to make decisions and be accountable between and at meetings.

  3. IMPLEMENTATION. Report and Roll Out’s goals include consistent and timely implementation of initiatives. The largest meeting, at 8-50 participants, it requires communication packets for participants to deploy to other venues, and strong meeting and time management.

  4. SKILLS. Training meetings build skills, and require a trainer, materials, and space to do learning activities.

In general, I see that tier 1 executive teams are Decision and Governance, and the tier 2 are Report and Roll Out.

The most common mistake I see with tier 1 executive teams is a mistake that has increased with the advent of matrixed management. Many executive teams get stuck on this: They want to have a Decision and Governance meeting structure which is best at 6-10 participants, yet they want to have over 10 participants in the meeting. This makes discussion cumbersome, let alone decision-making. If the team feels strongly about Decision and Governance and over 10 participants, then there is a solution. The meetings have to be run with extra-strict and super-charged meeting management tactics. These would include an active time and focus keeper, and communications between meetings to ensure participants have pre-read materials and have completed any tasks. Take the time and have the discipline to architect the right meeting structure for your business goals. Even if you only do this for one meeting a year, you will improve your effectiveness and culture.


Dr. Nadine Greiner PhD, Executive Coaching San Francisco

Nadine Greiner, Ph.D. provides Executive Coaching and Human Resources solutions. Her mission is to make the executive experience exceptionally enjoyable and effective. She believes that the world needs great leaders, and has dedicated her career to helping them.

As an organization psychologist and former corporate CEO, Dr. Nadine understands the pressures and demands executives face. She offers her clients the high expertise that only comes with three decades of consulting success, and a dual Ph.D. in Organization Development and Clinical Psychology. Dr. Nadine is an in-demand speaker, teaches in doctoral programs, and coaches other consultants. She is the author of two books: ‘The Art of Executive Coaching: Secrets to Unlock Leadership Performance’, and of ‘Stress-less Leadership: How to Lead in Business and in Life’.

Contact Information: Feel free to email Dr. Nadine San Francisco Executive Coaching at or by phone at (415) 861-8383.


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