But what exactly are ad-hoc meetings, and how do they differ from regular meetings? And how can we ensure that our ad-hoc meetings yield the best results? If these questions have piqued your interest, this article offers you a compass to navigate the world of ad-hoc meetings so that you acquire essential know-how to unleash their full benefits.
What are Ad-hoc Meetings and how do they work?
Ad-hoc meetings are spontaneous meetings that are called when an urgent matter needs immediate attention. Contrary to regular scheduled meetings, they are impromptu to enable quick decision-making, which is why following up with action items is an integral part of efficient problem-solving. Thus, companies who want to unleash the full potential of their ad-hoc meetings can make use of supporting tools, for instance AI summarizing tools like jamie, so that they save time by never having to take meeting notes again (read more about that later). Ultimately, an ad-hoc meeting is called to tackle specific challenges, brainstorm ideas, or resolve critical matters.
Now that we know what an ad-hoc meeting is, you may ask yourself: “How do they differ from regular meetings?” and “How can I get the best results for my ad-hoc meetings?”. Keep reading to find out!
Benefits of Ad-hoc Meetings
Imagine you have to make an immediate decision that is crucial for the company's success and must gather all participants to get their relevant opinions. So, you go ahead and open your calendar to check when you are getting together this week and see that you can make a decision, oh… exactly 4 days from now.
That doesn’t sound too great? Well, ad-hoc meetings for the win!
As you might have guessed, keeping the traditional meeting approach without offering agility holds back actions that require immediate action and responsiveness, which is needed on a frequent basis in today’s dynamic business landscape. Thus, ad-hoc meetings offer various benefits to ensure that employees are not hindered but rather empowered in their productivity and collaboration. We have gathered the three main benefits of ad-hoc meetings for you in a quick list, so that you can gain an understanding of why they have become such a valuable asset:
1. Ad-hoc meetings enable clarity for aligned objectives.
They provide employees with clarity and purpose, which is crucial when determining the next steps - after all, everyone should be on the same page to work towards aligned goals and objectives.
2. Ad-hoc meetings offer agility for immediate action.
While it is important to keep in mind that ad-hoc meetings should be used judiciously, once a topic arises that requires quick and seamless communication, ad-hoc meetings offer the benefits of spontaneous meetings with an underlying structure to guide the discussion and decision-making process. (To save time, keep AI-powered tools, like jamie, in mind - receive a professional meeting summary, including action items and a full transcript, in just one click.)
3. Ad-hoc meetings enhance greater collaboration.
Encouraging participants to share their opinions and thoughts to come to a decision cultivates a question-friendly culture - employees are engaging in open discussions and feel that their input is valued while contributing to an important action or decision.
Quick overview: Ad-hoc Meetings vs. Regular (Scheduled) Meetings
Now that you understand what ad-hoc meetings are, you might still be unsure when to schedule one. After all, you don’t want to waste the time of your employees or overestimate the urgency of a matter.
A rule of thumb to remember:
- If a specific matter needs immediate attention and a follow-up is instantly required, you might want to schedule an ad-hoc meeting.
- If a specific matter needs moderate attention and a follow-up is not instantly required, a regular (scheduled) meeting will probably do the job.
Still confused? No worries! We curated a quick graphic for you to grasp the main differences between an ad-hoc meeting and a regular meeting below.
5 ways to boost the efficiency of ad-hoc meetings
1. Use AI-Powered Tools
In today's digitally-driven world, not using AI-powered tools will hinder you and your team at reaching your full potential. To boost the efficiency of your ad-hoc meetings, we suggest making smart use of your time, for instance by using a virtual AI-assistant like jamie: simply running jamie in the background of your ad-hoc meeting will provide you with a professional summary, including action items and a full transcript. That way, you can focus your attention on more important matters and free up cognitive bandwidth to be fully present during the meeting.
2. Follow Up and Follow Through
After concluding the ad-hoc meeting, make sure to communicate the immediate action items, decisions made, and responsibilities with your employees. Share your summary (or the one that your AI-assistant like jamie provided you with) in an email or preferred application to ensure accountability and greater efficiency of the team. Just make sure you share well organized meeting notes that are easily accessible.
3. Include a Level of Structure
While Ad-hoc meetings are spontaneous, make sure that they adhere to a certain level of structure - this also includes well-structured meeting notes. While everyone should engage in an open discussion, maintaining a seamless ad-hoc meeting also includes designating some responsibilities to team members, for instance appointing a discussion leader or timekeeper. After all, ad-hoc meetings should be made as efficient as possible to ensure quick action.
4. Encourage Active Participation
Make sure that employees understand that their opinion is valued and important to be heard, so that the room reaches a decision that the whole team stands behind. Encourage active participation by creating an environment in which team members feel that they can share their thoughts without feeling judged and promote creative collaboration by enhancing how creativity can lead to greater innovation, thus making the ad-hoc meetings more effective.
5. Clearly Define Objectives
Before initiating an ad-hoc meeting, make sure that you are meeting for the right reasons. Ask yourself: “What do we want to reach by the end of the meeting?”. For instance, a wide-ranging decision might have to be made instead of just reaching a conclusion for the next step in a project. Outline clear and specific objectives, so that your employees understand the purpose and relevance of your ad-hoc meeting - a professional agenda can help to ensure that everyone knows the main objective of the meeting.
Ad-hoc meetings offer agility and responsiveness, which are indispensable in the modern workplace. Used correctly, they are a valuable asset for you to utilize to embrace greater collaboration and communication towards effective decision-making. By understanding their intended use and utilizing our 5 best ways to get the best result from your ad-hoc meeting, you can harness the full potential of your productivity and boost your team’s success. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, seize the opportunity, and thrive with the power of ad-hoc meetings!