In a post at Harvard Business Online, John Baldoni worries about the impact budgetary cutbacks will have on corporate meetings this winter. “I hear from colleagues in the communication business [that] meetings are being scaled back or canceled to a large degree,” he reports. “Scaling back makes sense; canceling meetings does not.” Here’s why:

  • Meetings give your leadership team the chance to outline the company’s plan for the coming year—critical information for external partners like dealers, vendors and franchisees.
  • They can also give your sales team an immediate sense of what to do in the short term.

“Both constituencies need to take the measure of their leaders and to discover for themselves if those at the top have the right stuff to lead,” says John Baldoni.

He recommends presentations that offer a clear vision for addressing current economic conditions; create the sense that you’re not only up to the challenge, but prepared to face it head on. Also, cultivate an interactive atmosphere that encourages participants to share their stories and offer feedback.

“Cancelling such meetings, except when there are no other alternatives, sends the message that employees and even vendors and customers are expendable,” says Baldoni. Instead, keep corporate confabs on the schedule and use them as a tool for energizing your constituents and renewing their trust.

Source: Harvard Business Online. Click here for the full post.