5 reasons for a meeting

David Allen and his Getting Things Done movement preaches 5 reasons for a meeting – reasons which I really like – and I might even want to apply this as a visible Meeting Type in my meeting invites going forward. They are fairly common sense, but simply illuminating why we are getting together upfront, could align the host and guest(s) and potentially shorten the duration of a meeting.

  • Give information
  • Get information
  • Develop options
  • Make decisions
  • Social

You can obviously conduct meetings where you have multiple valid reasons to have more than one of these agendas present.
Find David’s text to each one of the above agendas below.
1. Give information
“Hello everyone. I’ve brought you all together today to let you know what’s been going on about the pending lawsuit. I’d like
you to leave here today understanding what’s going on, and with as much background as you need to be able to answer
questions that may arise from our customers.”
2. Get information
“Thanks for coming. We’ve invited you all here to find out from everyone what we should be aware of that’s going on in your
division relative to the new product roll-out. We want to know what’s happening at all levels in the organization about this,
so we can make some adjustments in our plans accordingly.”
3. Develop options
“We’d like to spend this afternoon surfacing, formulating, and exploring as many possible ways to deal with the problem
we’ve just uncovered in the new system implementation. We want to make sure we’ve got everyone’s perspectives and all the
possible alternatives formulated.”
4. Make decisions
“We’ve brought you all together this morning to present to you the three proposed approaches to launching our new product,
and get a consensus decision on which one to pursue.”
5. Warm magical human contact
“There are 3 agenda items we would like to cover today. And though we could have done this by email, we wanted to have
an opportunity to bring the new team together in one place, and get some time to get to know each other between the lines…”