NOTE – This blog post was originally published on Dec 9, 2018, when Prowess Project was still Noteworthy Meetings. Startups are all about adapting to customers’ needs hence the change in name and focus. That said, the story still holds true. Enjoy! – Ashley
Ashley Connell here, founder of Noteworthy Meetings. A bit about me, I’ve been in tech marketing for the past 12 years and have been stuck in my fair share of bad meetings. Typically I was brought in to brainstorm, predict results and think ten steps ahead. I realized though, I was doing none of those things because instead I was “voluntold” to take the meeting notes and therefore I was rapidly jotting down objectives, resolutions, action items, who is doing what and by when, and ensuring we were all on the same page.
Often times, a fellow meeting attendee would ask what I thought about the subject at hand and I looked like a deer in the headlights because I hadn’t been brainstorming with the rest of the group, but I could tell him was that he has four actions due on Tuesday of next week. After the meetings, I would spend another hour editing the notes that they would be beneficial for all and send them out to the attendees (and no-shows). THEN, I’d spend another hour reviewing the notes and giving myself some time to brainstorm. The inefficiency in this is mind-boggling (and actually, quite embarrassing).
I started talking to anyone who would listen about this problem and many (mostly women) lamented the same experience. Once he or she (mostly she) took the meeting notes once, that was unofficially how her peers saw her and started to rely on it. I figured there had to be a better way.
And Noteworthy Meetings was born. Aside from ensuring that the entire team can focus on strategy, not meeting minutes, our facilitators will completely run your meetings for you- plus the follow-up to ensure that folks are completing what they signed up for. This will help solve:
- Understanding what was missed when you are double-booked, out sick or, heaven-forbid, on vacation
- Consistent communication by providing a third-party account (gold standard, if you will) of decisions made, next steps, owners and due dates
- Expectations of meeting goals & agenda before and at the beginning of each meeting
- Time management during the meetings and ensuring that all objectives are covered
- Disproportionate contributions during meeting time (notice that one person may dominate or a shy but brilliant individual won’t speak at all)
- 3am panics wondering if you reminded Susie to follow-up with Gary by Monday (we’ve all been there)
Eager to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Is it something you’d want? If so, why and if not, why? Don’t be shy – I’m just a gal trying to make your meetings run smoother and give you time back in your day.
Stock photo version of me 😉 brainstorming on my own…
Until next time!