The Sixteen Minute Solution
. . . getting others involved . . . taking less time
by Tom Alsop, President / Founder, American Singles Golf Association

We've all belonged to various organizations throughout our lives.  If you don't watch out, you can become "meeting'd to death!"  Granted, with the internet and e-mail, it's easier to communicate, but for many people, they just don't want to go to too many meetings.

Each chapter meets once each month, probably in a private room at a local restaurant.  How many more meeting would you like to attend?  If you're on the Board, you might have a meeting once a month.  If you're on a committee, maybe the same thing.  That's three meetings already!

People who run committees in any type of organization continuously complain that they can't find anyone to help them.  No one volunteers.  "Been there, done that," is the common comment.  So why not take advantage of something that will guarantee strong attendance at your committee meetings and makes those meetings more enjoyable?

The monthly membership meeting or gathering is usually all about social things, right?  You have a drink, you meet new friends.  Then the meeting is called to order, guests are introduced, announcements of upcoming events or outings are made, etc.  But since everyone is there, why not take advantage of this?

Here's the scenario.  You're the chapter president and you announce to the 40 people at your monthly membership meeting that you're going to take SIXTEEN MINUTES and do a quick business meeting.  You have your four committee chairpersons stand at each of the four corners of the room.   You say, "Folks, tonight, we're going to break up into small groups in the four corners of this room and we're going to ask for your input as to what we should be doing over the next three months to provide more social events and golf outings.  If you have an interest in helping choose locations for golf outings, go to this corner.  If you want to provide some input or help plan some social events, go to that corner.  Membership in this corner and communications in that corner."

Then you announce, "each committee will meet, brainstorm and thumbnail activities for exactly TWELVE minutes.  At that point, we will ask each committee chairperson to stand-up and announce for ONE minute the kinds of things they'll be working on.  Afterwards, we'll connect the dots and you'll get details in your upcoming newsletter."

Get them to break into groups and ask the committee chairs to be brief and you'll knock-out a whole lot of extra meeting times elsewhere on other dates by conducting quickie-style committee meetings.

Do this the first meeting of each quarter (January, April, July, October) and you'll have happy campers because 1) you've kept them from having to go to another meeting and 2) you've allowed everyone an opportunity to provide some input.  It will reduce whining (yes, that will occur!) and give everyone a feeling of running things in a democratic manner. 

The key committee people can finalize details via e-mail and other ways.  Try it.  It works!