Healthy and Productive Nonprofit Meetings: What Does the Research Say?

By Beth Kanter

How many meetings and conference calls did you have yesterday?  Our work days are filled with meetings and conference calls with the intent of getting stuff done.  But many meetings end up being a complete waste of time.

That’s why we included a module in the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders peer learning group on meeting design and facilitation – and these days it is an important leadership skill.  In preparation, I’ve been studying the research and best practices for productive meetings.   Here’s a summary of what I learned:

Do You Have The Basics of Good Meetings Covered?

If you want the basics about holding a meeting that is energizing instead of draining,  here is a good summary from the Harvard Business Review: “What Everyone Needs to Know About Running Productive Meetings.”   Many of these practices are used at companies that pride themselves in having productive meetings.   Andrea Kihlstedt and I gave a webinar for Guidestar on healthy and productive nonprofit meetings.  Our tips are here.