Professional people can spend hour after hour in business meetings without ever settling on a particular course of action.
Decisions can get deferred to further meetings, which will be scheduled in for a future point in time, or issues will simply be brushed under the carpet.
Clearly this isn't the way to run a business. For starters, it costs time and money to organise business meetings, and get key stakeholders together in the same room, at the same time.
This is particularly the case if organisations use dedicated meeting rooms, which are equipped with the full range of business tools and technology solutions they need.
If businesses are going to stage meetings and discuss important issues, there needs to be some level of resolution. Otherwise it calls into question the whole purpose of the get-together.
As a general rule, meeting participants should not end any discussion in a meeting without deciding how to act on it.
This doesn't necessary have to be a full, thorough and costed plan, but there needs to be a strategy for moving forwards, agreed by the meeting participants.
If issues are left unresolved, all that will happen is that the same conversation will take place at the same meeting and a similar outcome will be reached.
It's important to find a way of taking things forward, even if the decision is that further research is needed on a particular matter.
Then at least, at the next meeting, there will be a way of moving forwards.
It makes sense to assign particular tasks to individuals as they arise during the meeting, while everyone is focused on the matter at hand.
So before moving on to the next point on the agenda, consensus will be reached on what needs to be done, when by and by whom.
The chair of the meeting has to take a firm grip of proceedings, to ensure discussion points are dealt with efficiently and effectively.
If they can limit repetition and duplication of effort from one meeting to the next, it allows their organisation to save time and money.
This helps minimise the length of meetings and the number that need to be staged, allowing people to get on with their jobs and core duties, without becoming bogged down.