Senior management support and involvement are key success factors for meetings and corporate retreats. Yet, the full potential of some meetings is never realized as insufficient attention is given to executive engagement.
Here are 7 strategies for involving and engaging executives in meetings.
- Give Members of the Senior Management Team an Opportunity to Shape the Agenda.
If their input is not obtained, on the day of the meeting, there is a risk that they will react by engaging in unsupportive behaviour:
- making it really clear to the group that they did not write the executive briefing and it's the first time they are seeing it
- skipping portions of the meeting when their support is vital
- verbalizing the fact that they do not perceive some of the content as being of value
- cutting the meeting short
- Kick things off with an executive briefing.
Other attendees are more likely to support the meeting if they know that senior management is supportive.
- Identify the executive who will make the presentation to "set the stage".
- Obtain input and feedback as the presentation takes place.
- A dry run is always a good idea. (For sure, the day of the meeting should not be the first time the executive sees the presentation!)
- Get a member of the executive team to deliver the opening or closing keynote.
- Hold a Town Hall as part of an internal conference or sales meeting.
- Invite members of the executive team to serve on panels.
- Use executives as coaches during exercises and meetings.
- Use executives as facilitators for leadership and breakout exercises.
AchieveGlobal (now MHI Global) had great success by training executives and middle managers at client organizations to facilitate sessions of its Frontline Leadership and Working programs.
Here are more executive engagement tips: Corporate Events: Getting CEO Buy-in, 6 Steps to Stage Managing Executives for Corporate Events, Team Building: 5 Strategies for Executive Engagement, Executive Presentations: 5 Strategies to Set the Stage for Success, Preparing CEOs & Other Executives for Meeting Presentations.