May 1, 2018 9:15:00 AM EDT

Part 1: Promises Made, Promises Broken: How to Hold People Accountable to What They Said in a Standing Meeting

Organizational Effectiveness

Part 1: Promises Made, Promises Broken: How to Hold People Accountable to What They Said in a Standing Meeting

Have you noticed that your seemingly quick and efficient standing meetings don’t seem to produce the follow-through that you’re expecting? Does everyone nod and agree as people are talking, but when the deadline comes around the work is not done?

One of the most important aspects of business is the ability to commit to and follow through on promises. You are held accountable for results, thus your team needs to be held accountable to their promises as well.

Here are some tips for holding people accountable to what they promise in a standing meeting.

Make sure you have good meeting hygiene:

  • Begin each meeting with a quick review of all previous actions. One minute per action owner.
  • Your agenda should have a purpose and an intended outcome.
  • Make sure action owners specify the schedule and expected result
  • Identify the root cause of the need for an action before assigning it
  • Avoid the activity trap by always focusing on the intended result
  • Recap the action items and remove as many as possible

These are vital parts of making sure you’re running an efficient meeting. It must be productive and quick. Make sure to hit on every action item without spending too much time on any of them.

Everything you talk about, and everything you assign, should contribute to your team’s objective. If you don’t know why you’re assigning a task, stop. If nothing else, table it for the next meeting.

Make sure the majority of items on your list get completed each week. Standing meetings should be focused on accomplishable tasks as much as possible. Concentrate on breaking up the larger objectives into the manageable tasks.

Next week, we’ll focus how the facilitator can contribute to holding members of the meeting accountable.

Understand your culture


Judy partners with executives and leadership teams to engage and inspire employees in a way that delivers sustainable strategic results. She brings deep expertise and creative ideas to solve organizational effectiveness issues and closely collaborates in a way that builds internal capabilities. Judy has spent over 25 years consulting in a variety of industries, bringing her expertise in behavior to a wide range of organizational issues including organizational behavior change, leadership, change management, culture and engagement.

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