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Executive Engagement Meetings 101

For any business to profit, customers “who want what only you have to offer” must be present. However, for any business to truly grow and change, Executive Engagement meetings are just as important. An Executive Engagement meeting should lead to organizational changes (if needed) and focus on growth. Staying on task while reaching the desired outcomes of your executive meeting should be your number one priority.  Most organizations can suffer from ineffective executive meetings, which leads to wasted time and disengaged executives. Disengaged executives can trickle down to the employees, thus affecting customers. This article will highlight tips for a productive executive engagement meeting.

Laying The Foundation: “Nemawashi

In Japan, an informal process that is practiced prior to the executive meeting is called “nemawashi.”  This Japanese business practice includes gathering support, feedback, and a general consensus prior to the executive meeting. There is no direct English translation for “nemawashi.” This makes the practice a bit more complex and deeper than just getting votes and a general consensus. Laying the foundation before the executive meeting isn’t just limited to lobbying. It should also include internalizing others’ concerns and truly getting to know those in the organization.

It’s important for the owner of the meeting to bring new ideas and proposals to other executives before the meeting takes place.  Hearing a proposed idea or big change on the day of the meeting itself may not reap a positive outcome. Other executives are more likely to reject something completely unfamiliar to them. Not only will the meeting run smoother-but “nemawashi” ensures time for hearing others input and ideas. Receiving feedback prior to the executive meeting is best for the owner of the meeting. This practice builds up the organization and puts the focus on relationships.

Who is driving the “bus” of the meeting?

Executive meetings are most successful when there is one “leader” of the meeting. Time and money are important in the business world, and executive engagement meetings can take up both. In order to get the most out of executive meetings, there should be one person who is driving the meeting forward. It is important for the owner of the meeting to stay on task and agenda.  When multiple executives give presentations, this may lead to “ agenda clutter.” Disarray and too many ideas at once has proven to lead to executive disengagement. Having one true driver of the meetings can keep the group energized and focused on the desired outcomes. This driver or owner’s main goal should be keeping the executives focused on the sole objective.  The other executives can spend their energy and efforts towards answering whatever main objective may be.

Clear Objectives > Positive Return on Investment

If an executive engagement meeting is successful, it should positively impact an organizations performance. It all starts with the executive’s ability to provide thoughtful, innovative, and integrated progress. Productive executive engagement meetings lead to better employees and more profit. As stated earlier, a lot of money is spent on executive meetings, so you want to get the most bang for your organizations buck. When going into executive engagement meetings, the driver must clearly state the most important objective. If the objective or agenda is unclear, how can executives leave and go back to employees feeling energized and enthusiastic?


Laying the foundation, designating one driver, and stating clear objectives are just three tips to ensure a positive executive engagement meeting. If you follow them closely, your team should reach its desired outcomes. When Executive Engagement meetings reach their desired outcomes, employee engagement should almost take care of itself.











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