We've all heard of those infamous band meetings where members arrive late only
to talk (and sometimes scream) about important (and sometimes completely unimportant)
matters in a disorganized fashion. Just watch Metallica's documentary, Some
Kind of Monster, for a shocking dose of band dysfunction.
By definition, meetings are formal gatherings of people or committees intended
to update, debate, and solve various business matters. To ensure that your band
meetings go smoothly, check out these eight tips that are super easy to put
1. Schedule in advance
Schedule your band meeting in advance
at a convenient time for all. This can be done by using helpful
tools like Doodle or Meeting Wizard.
2. Choose a convenient location
Be sure the meetings are held in a convenient
location, such as your rehearsal room. You can also hold long-distance
meetings by using Skype or a conference call.
3. Distribute an agenda in advance
Write a clear agenda of specifically
what will be discussed in the meeting. By sending the outline
to all members in advance, they can begin to formulate their
questions and thoughts, and you'll save tons of time in the
4. Set an end time
While the length of a meeting is determined
by the agenda, try to keep meetings no longer than one hour,
moving efficiently from one item to the next.
5. Appoint one bandmate to run the
meeting and enforce ground rules
Even if your band is a democracy, appoint
one member to oversee the meetings. The leader opens the meetings,
addresses each issue one at a time, and offers each bandmate
the floor to comment in an organized, respectful, and efficient
manner. Cell phones and other distractions should be prohibited
from band meetings, and the leader should be in charge of
6. Vote on issues
After an issue is discussed, the band
member leading the meeting "moves" to vote on it,
and waits for the members to "second," or approve,
the proposal. Should people feel an item needs further discussion,
it can be tabled for the next meeting. The point is to keep
the meeting moving forward and not let one issue dominate
7. Adjourn meetings
The meeting leader must officially close
the meeting before bandmates begin wandering off. I have been
in countless situations where members start playing games
of pool or firing up their amplifiers while others are still
talking. And finally...
8. Send out meeting minutes to be approved
by all bandmates
After each meeting, the leader sends
out a detailed email of what was discussed and agreed upon
to ensure there are no misunderstandings. Each member must
approve the meeting minutes by simply responding with "approved."
These methods may seem rather rigid and so
un-rock 'n' roll-like, but remember that a band is a business,
just like any other, and cutting through the bullshit that
plagues so many bands is not a bad thing at all. In fact,
should you decide to incorporate your band, your group (or
your elected "board" of members) is required to
hold regularly scheduled meetings and keep detailed notes
(or "minutes") of what was discussed. Yup, I bet
you didn't know that!
No matter what your business entity, give
the tips above a try. I wish that all my bands had! For more
detailed information on holding efficient meetings, check
out Robert's Rules of Order at robertsrules.com. You can also
check out my books at bobbyborg.com.