Looking for accountability and teachable moments in meetings? Record them

The world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, records pretty much every internal meeting.

What?

Yep. All meeting rooms include a fixed-mount audio and video recorder that staff can opt-in to use – and most do.

You might be wondering why an organization might do this? Isn’t this a pretty considerable overhead when all you want to do is meet?

Bridgewater execs see so much value in reviewing meetings and identifying teachable moments that they’ve oriented the entire firm around this concept. They call it “management principles training“.

Its one thing to record meetings; its another to build your business around them.

For those of us who want to dip our toe into recording meetings before considering recording every meeting, there are a few things to consider.

Can you?

We don’t all have the flexibility Bridgewater and firms like it have to record meetings as a general business practice. In fact, doing so may be illegal. As a general rule of thumb, meeting attendees need to be made aware of, and consent to, being recorded. Special rules apply to public meetings, or those involving emergency services or the police. Check your local laws if you’re not sure.

Make meeting attendees accountable

Once you’ve accommodated any concerns around consent, recording opens the door to some pretty compelling value-adds: accountability, coaching and knowledge retention.

Announcing that we were going to record the next Trackmeet status meeting brought with it a little energy from the team. The result? Everyone was on time, notebooks were out and our conversation was unusually lively.

A spike in attention because everyone knew that the meeting was being recorded? You bet.

Can this be sustained? Probably not – as time wears on, this approach becomes accepted practice and is absorbed as a norm. But, if you’re recurring meeting needs a jolt to arouse some attention, give this a try.

Coaching

Akin to what Bridgewater is doing via management principles training, recording the audio and/or video from your meeting can provide for invaluable teaching and coaching opportunities, using real-world examples taken directly from your business.

Ambitious?

Yep.

Should all organizations be doing this? Probably not.

But consider this – if you don’t have a culture that helps grow its staff and contribute to their personal and professional development, how does your business grow? Everything else being equal, why wouldn’t your staff walk down the street to a competitor that offers it? After all, personal and professional development is the #1 perk millenials are looking for at work.

If you don’t have the capacity to record and coach, simply jot down those teachable moments and circle back to them offline. Your team will thank you for the feedback.

Knowledge Retention

Using something like Trackmeet, organizations can capture and retain some of the considerable knowledge that exists within its ranks.

Take for example the weekly management team meeting held at Latitude Geographics, a Trackmeet customer. In this meeting, each department executive includes a narrative that summarizes their week. During their allotted time, each executive gives a brief verbal summary and discussion ensues. This discussion, and the opportunities and concerns it raises, is invaluable to the team. So much so that meeting audio is recorded and distributed to everyone, ensuring all attendees can revisit important points and absent team members can remain fully in the loop.

Considering recording your meetings? Doing so can add considerable value with a small investment up front.

 

 

Published by

Darin Herle

I call Victoria BC home, am a proud father of 2 and husband to 1. Trackmeet co-founder, Cub Scout leader and baseball fan.

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