As part of being on the core team at Code for Boston we have a monthly meeting. The core team meeting happens on a Thursday night. This regularity enforces structure and accountability in moving things forward. We share a Google document that allows any member of core team to propose an agenda item for the meeting. We enforce a meeting time limit of 90 minutes because any meeting that goes longer than that will suffer from lack of attention. We have a time keeper that enforces sticking to our agenda and a note taker that records next steps. This meeting is not brunch, we get together to focus on important things and we get them done.
The structure and rigidity of this meeting feels more helpful than hurtful. If a topic takes too long for this meeting it forces us to recognize the fact that it has earned its own meeting and give it the attention it deserves. We often reserve a balance of time (20 minutes) for discussions that go longer than we expect. We rotate the person who facilitates and the person who keeps time and notes. The absence of a single member does not hinder the ability of the team to get things done. Everyone knows the structure and keeps each other accountable.
Tonight is our monthly core team meeting and I am excited for all the new ideas and things we will get done. It is nice to have time to sit down with the rest of the core team and make decisions. It is also helpful to get from the others the download on what is happening in the areas of the organization they are focusing on and the feedback they are getting. The meeting may be real work, but it is rewarding.