Importance of Follow UpFebruary 20, 2012 | By Kevin Cray
Do you remember participating in the best meeting of your life, but once everyone left the room, it was as if nothing ever happened? One of the biggest commonalities that we see happening in the marketplace is lack of follow up after meetings. The most successful meetings in business development are the ones that have action items when all is said and done.
One common occurrence with larger companies today is the lack of cross accountability and follow up to make sure everyone has done their due diligence for the team. Immediate follow up is crucial because with most meetings, if follow up hasn’t begun within 48 hours, everyone has forgot about it. With the WOA Dashboard, we use our execution matrix to show transparency on action items. We also use “ping” emails, which are internally built into our software that reminds our clients when they have items that are due within 48 hours.
In order to have effective outcomes, important decisions from meetings need to be captured in writing and followed up on immediately. If there is no follow up, then you will be back to square one the next time you meet, having moved nothing further along. Sometimes follow up is a daunting task. Once people leave the meeting, they are sometimes hard to contact again and momentum suffers. We like to call this process “cat herding.
Here are a few observances and tips for better follow up:
- Ideas must be coupled by action, otherwise they will remain a vague conceptualization
- Ideas are a dime a dozen, but people who put ideas into action are exceptionally rare
- Identify deadlines in front of the team
- Accountable follow up safeguards time and resource management:
If you are consistently reevaluating your objective and approach then you’re more likely to spot new opportunities, avoid mistakes, and can abort more speedily if the project is proving unworthy
- You owe it to the other members of your team who may be relying on your information so they can make a decision or move forward.
- Projects get stalled when there is lack of communication or the information is vague
- Follow up is directly linked to speed and the success of results
- Stick to deadlines