You’ve heard it before, “it’s called the music business for a reason,” and one business practice that will help you meet your music career goals is holding effective band meetings.
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 your meetings go smoothly, check out the following eight easy-to-execute tips.
1. Schedule in advance
2. Choose a convenient location
3. Distribute an agenda in advance
Write a clear agenda of specifically what will be discussed in the meeting. Submit the outline to all members in advance so that they can begin to formulate their questions and thoughts and talk among each other.
4. Set a time limit
While the length of a meeting is determined by the agenda, try to keep meetings no longer than one hour (two, tops), moving efficiently from one item to the next.
5. Appoint a representative and set ground rules
Appoint one member to oversee the meetings. The leader opens the meetings, addresses each issue one at a time, and offers the members the floor (or right) to comment in an organized, respectful, and efficient manner. Cell phones and other distractions are prohibited from the meetings.
6. Vote on – or table – issues
After an issue is discussed, the representative “moves” to vote on it, and waits for the members to approve or “second” 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 the discussion.
7. Adjourn meetings
The representative must officially close all meetings before members begin wondering 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. Approve minutes
After each meeting, the representative 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.”
The above methods may seem rather rigid and so un-rock ‘n roll, but remember, a band is a business, 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 detailed information on meetings, check out Robert’s Rules of Order. Please also be sure to check out my books at www.bobbyborg.com.
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