|1. Have somebody in charge who people respect and will defer to.
For better or for worse, this is the most efficient way.
2. Have each attendee or key attendees have something to REPORT, not just discuss.
This creates ownership and responsibility.
3. Do most of the work of the meeting BEFORE the meeting itself.
It's hard to get work done/alliances made/problems solved DURING a meeting -- take care of most of this 1-1 before the meeting itself.
4. Start the meeting on time, every time.
And, don't accept comments from those who are late. People will learn soon enough to be on time.
5. Schedule some meetings WITHOUT formalized agendas.
These would include brain storming sessions, open forums, etc. A formal agenda would squelch input and creativity. A highly valuable meeting doesn't have to be oriented around/justified by a preset agenda!
6. Schedule random meetings, not just regular ones.
Staff meetings at 8am every Monday, don't always work well. Folks get into a routine, get bored, etc. Schedule meetings designed to accomplish something.
7. Have the first 15 minutes be chatty, catch up time; then get into the meeting.
Warm everyone up by casual chatter for the first part of the meeting. this releases any pent up energy in the room, leaving folks more open.
8. Schedule TeleMeetings and Chat meetings, not just in-person meetings.
Some meetings are BETTER if they AREN'T in person/onsite. Use teleconferencing and web chat rooms when possible.
9. Don't make the meeting a production.
Slides are cool; handouts are nice. But they are expensive and may not really cause the type input/collaboration that meetings are best for. Ask yourself: "Am I trying to educate/impress/enroll folks or do I need their help to solve/create something?" If the former, do the dog and pony show; if the latter, don't.
10. Label the TYPE of meeting it's going to be on the announcement memo.
Is the meeting going to be a discussion? Or a reporting session? Or a brainstorming opportunity? Or a value-added session? Or a problem-solving one? Or a crisis one? Give attendees the CONTEXT for the meeting, not just the time, date, location and agenda.