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To Unlock Better Decision Making, Plan Better Meetings

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To Unlock Better Decision Making, Plan Better Meetings

How can senior managers get better, faster business decisions from the meetings they attend or lead? Planning is key.


5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Make reaching decisions the purpose – not the by-product – of your executive meetings.  

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Executives make most of their decisions during meetings. Yet more often than not, the decisions they make leave them dissatisfied. What’s more, they often leave meetings feeling that they spent their time poorly. What can executives do to plan more effective decision-making meetings? In this McKinsey Podcast episode hosted by Diana Brady, consultants Simon London, Aaron De Smet and Leigh Weiss share best practices.


Not every decision requires a meeting.

Decision-making meetings often produce poor outcomes. Sometimes, they end with no clear decisions at all. Other times, the decisions seem suboptimal. Trying to make decisions in meetings can unnecessarily drag out the decision-making process or end with a low-commitment decision.

Sometimes, it’s more constructive to skip the meeting and delegate a decision to the person who will execute it. That person should consult with other affected parties to come up with a solid conclusion.

When you schedule a meeting to reach a decision, be clear about who needs to be there.

When planning a decision-making meeting, structure it around the decision you want to make. Start with a list of the people you need on hand. Don’t invite extraneous people just because you don’t want them to feel excluded.

Invite as many people as necessary – be that only a few or as many as 50. Make sure that everybody in the room understands his or her role...

About the Podcast

Simon London is a member of McKinsey Global Publishing, Aaron De Smet is a McKinsey senior partner and Leigh Weiss is a senior expert. The McKinsey Podcast is a business and management podcast featuring conversations with leading experts. This episode was hosted by Diana Brady.

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