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Take time to follow through.

There's something simple that we can all do at the end of any meeting to help our programs function better. After making plans or reaching decisions, make sure to ask one key question: Who else needs to know?

For example, when planning a big event, all sorts of small decisions are made in subcommittee meetings that have a ripple effect on other subcommittees. How does the new information filter across the entire planning team? Answering the simple question, Who needs to know?, can be both a reminder and strategic tool. Consider notifying people who

* will be expected to carry some responsibility directly associated with the news;

* are in a position to make other decisions or plans supporting or affecting the news;

* may need to deal with positive or negative reaction to the news from staff, the board, the public, and so forth;

* deserve the feedback as recognition for their role in helping the news to occur; and

* work remotely and will benefit from being kept informed.

Make it a habit to ask the question at the end of any meeting and specifically assign responsibility to someone for making sure that the "someone else who needs to know" finds out. You can also add the question to meeting minutes, and then simply send a copy of the minutes to the people identified as needing to know.

--Susan J. Ellis, president, Energize, Inc., Philadelphia; sellis@energize.com
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Title Annotation:PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES
Author:Ellis, Susan J.
Publication:Association Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:235
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