Megann Wilson wrote a blog post titled What are we deciding, exactly?

« It is so important to ask this question at the outset, and to not move forward until there is agreement:

“What are we deciding?” »

Then, if the process gets sidetracked by the many agendas at the table… any member can get things back on track by asking, “What are we deciding, again? Let’s park everything else that doesn’t relate to this direct decision, and get back to those items once we have decided.” »

Of course, there are times when getting sidetracked is productive.  Rory Sutherland tweeted:

“This is why meetings should have a loose agenda – the tangents and discursions* are more valuable than the predefined purpose.

Rory Sutherland is Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and author of Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life.

* discursion: the quality or characteristic of ranging from topic to topic; discursiveness; digressiveness.

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