Just read Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable About Solving the Most Painful Problems in Business by Patrick Lencioni. He writes that “there is simply no substitute for a good meeting — a dynamic, passionate and focused engagement — when it comes to extracting the collective wisdom of a team.”

Here are Lencioni’s five tips for better meetings:

  1. Know the purpose of your meeting. Is it about solving a tactical, short-term problem, or a critical strategic issue? Are people meant to debate, offer alternatives, brainstorm, or just sit and listen?
  2. Clarify what’s at stake. Do participants know what could go wrong if bad decisions are made?
  3. Hook them from the outset. How will you get people engaged?
  4. Ensure enough time. The mark of a great meeting is that it ends with clarity and commitment from participants.
  5. Provoke conflict. Conflict should be ideological, not personal. Ensure opposing views are aired completely.