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3 min read

Why Meeting Structure Matters

Why Meeting Structure Matters
Why Meeting Structure Matters

Nobody likes meetings. Many people feel most of the meetings they attend could’ve been an email. They lacked direction and resolved little to nothing. It feels as though the team meets just to meet.  

So, when we at Journey Alliance, insist that meetings are still important, that may sound a bit crazy. But it’s not just meetings that are important, it’s meeting structure 

We introduce three types of meetings with guidelines to cut back on those directionless ad hoc meetings. 

  1. Annual Planning Session 
  2. The Quarterly Offsite 
  3. The Weekly Alignment 
  4. Daily Huddles 
  5. 1:1 Meetings 

It’s not just meetings that are important, it’s meeting structure. 


The Importance of Having a Meeting Structure 

A well-structured meeting can transform an otherwise unproductive gathering into a powerful tool for progress and collaboration. The structure provides a clear framework and expectations for participants, ensuring that time is used efficiently. Without structure, meetings can quickly become disorganized, leading to frustration and wasted time. In an unstructured meeting, participants might veer off-topic, dominate conversations, or leave without clear next steps, which diminishes the meeting's value. 

A structured meeting, on the other hand, encourages discipline. It ensures that everyone understands the purpose of the meeting and the role they play. This clarity helps in keeping the discussions relevant and focused, allowing for more efficient use of time. Additionally, a clear structure helps in managing time effectively, ensuring that all agenda items are covered without rushing or running over time. 

The Annual Planning Session 

This 2-day session creates a custom action plan to tackle the most urgent challenges and build systems for lasting success. 

The Quarterly Offsite 

This full day meeting is time to review and plan with key leadership. Review data for the quarter and plan next steps for the business. It is the ultimate work ON the business time. 

The Weekly Alignment 

The weekly alignment is a regular opportunity for business owners to work ON the business with key leadership team members. This longer meeting is structured with an agenda that includes review of relevant company data, ongoing projects or goals, and issues to be worked through.  

Daily Huddles 

These meetings are quick, 15 minute or less, meetings with the team to go over the day. These meetings are an opportunity to identify challenges that require support. These meetings are not time to discuss or solve those challenges. If an issue requires further discussion, set another time to discuss.  

1:1 Meetings 

1:1s are meetings between leaders and their direct reports. The team member brings topics to discuss with the leader, topics of areas of growth, ongoing projects, challenges they’re facing, etc. These meetings are time to directly invest in team members growth and development. 

Make time to work ON the business.

Why Agendas Matter 

Agendas are the backbone of a productive meeting. They outline the topics to be covered, allocate time for each topic, and set clear objectives for the meeting. Agendas help keep the meeting focused and on track, preventing it from deviating into unrelated areas. By having a predefined agenda, participants come prepared, knowing what to expect and what is expected of them. This preparation leads to more meaningful contributions and a more engaged discussion. 

Agendas also serve as a time management tool. By allocating specific time slots to each agenda item, meetings can proceed in a timely manner, ensuring that critical topics receive adequate attention. This time allocation helps prevent any single topic from monopolizing the entire meeting. Furthermore, agendas help prioritize discussion points, ensuring that the most important issues are addressed first. 

Keeping on Topic 

Staying on topic during meetings is crucial for maintaining efficiency and ensuring that all necessary points are covered. It can be easy for discussions to wander off course, especially when passionate team members are involved. However, this can lead to important issues being overlooked or meetings running overtime. By adhering to the agenda and gently steering conversations back to the main points, leaders can ensure that meetings remain productive and relevant. This focus not only saves time but also respects the time of all participants. 

Maintaining focus requires active facilitation. Meeting leaders or facilitators play a key role in guiding discussions, keeping participants engaged, and ensuring that the meeting stays on track. This involves politely redirecting off-topic conversations and encouraging concise, relevant contributions from all participants. 

Maintaining focus requires active facilitation.

Implementing Structured Meetings 

By implementing structured meetings, we aim to maximize the effectiveness of our interactions. Structured meetings, like our Weekly Alignments, Daily Huddles, and 1:1s, provide clear guidelines and objectives, ensuring that each meeting serves a specific purpose and contributes to our overall goals. These structured approaches prevent the aimless discussions that meetings so often become. 


While meetings often have a bad reputation, they are essential for effective communication and collaboration within an organization. Structured meetings provide a framework for efficiency, focus, and meaningful engagement, ultimately contributing to the overall success of the business. So, the next time you find yourself dreading a meeting, remember the potential it holds when done right. 

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