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  • Writer's pictureHenrik Akej

How Actionable Meetings Can Help You Drive Real Change

The world is becoming increasingly complex and the rate of change is constantly increasing, forcing organisations to increase their internal rate of change in order to keep up. If unsuccessful, the consequences can be terminal. The ability to drive change has hence become an important competitive factor. Not all change is created equally though…

"The ability to change is now a key competitive factor"

Real change should be the key objective for all change projects. Real change has two components:

  1. Real change is positive. It is change in the right direction that propels the organisation forward.

  2. Real change is sustainable. Its' effect is not a short high that fades in the project aftermath but rather a long-term change of state.

Real change is what every change manager aims to create but sadly often fail in the effort of doing so as 70% of projects fail. I believe that there are two main reasons for this: (1) lack of focus and (2) an inability to engage stakeholders:

Lack of focus: Most projects start out great. There is a plan with set deliverables, there are clear targets and goals and all stakeholders are on board. Over time, as reality kicks in, things change. Challenges and new findings create the need for new activities and deliverables. The scope increases. Targets and goals are changed. Responsibilities are forgotten. Stakeholders are left out. All of a sudden, what was once crystal clear has become very, very fuzzy. This lack of focus is detrimental to the outcome of the project and can become very costly.

Inability to engage stakeholders: In the end, change is created by the very people who do the job of implementing the agreed upon actions. These people are the most integral part of all change and too often we forget to include them in the decision-making process. Instead, we make decisions and delegate them downwards in the organisational hierarchy. Not only do we risk making decisions that are not aligned with the rest of the organisation. While dripping downwards, the purpose of the decisions often disappear, resulting in decisions that lack commitment and support from the people actually implementing them.

The Solution is Actionable Meetings

There is a solution to this. I've personally used this solution to successfully drive large projects such as IT-implementations and cultural transformations. The solution is actionable meetings.

Actionable meetings are meetings where you engage relevant stakeholders from different hierarchies and areas in the decision-making process and together you identify clear and actionable targets and deliverables and assign responsibility. The output is actions that each have one single person responsible for "doing" the action. The are two key benefits of actionable meetings:

  1. Better decisions: As a broader set of individuals are involved in the decision-making process, knowledge sharing between participants is improved, creating a 1 + 1 > 2 situation that lead to more well-founded decisions.

  2. More engaged participants: When you involve your participants in the decision-making process, you will create a whole other level of engagement as they themselves have been apart of creating the outcome of the decision. This increases the likelihood that they agree with the decision and will act as good change ambassadors outside of the meeting and actually implement the decision.

Nilo Helps You Easily Create Actionable Meetings

To help you create actionable meetings, we've created the digital meeting tool Nilo. Nilo is based on our experience as management consultants where we've managed several large projects with the goal of creating real change. Nilo gives you an efficient and structured process that helps you identify and prioritise actions and engage and align stakeholders, while at the same time cutting your meeting time in half.

Now you can try Nilo for free. Just press below to create your account. It only takes a couple of minutes and it's completely free.

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