Why Meeting Minutes Are In Serious Need of a Makeover

Mar 1, 2017     By Neya Abdi

What do typewriters, carbon paper, and switchboard operators have in common?

They’re all vintage office features that have since been replaced.

Today, we bang out reports on shiny laptops. If we need a copy of anything, we punch a number into a machine that quickly spits out several clones. And if the person we want to talk to doesn’t have a direct line, we wait for a prompt from an automated voice system.

But there are some business processes that can’t be addressed with a new piece of hardware. The practice of taking minutes is a fitting example.

Originally intended as a way to record decisions for tax and legal purposes, minutes have become a go-to accessory for any meeting. A few colleagues may come together to brainstorm ideas, but somehow someone winds up with the task of jotting down the details of the chat to make things more official. Inevitably, those notes wind up in a folder alongside the ghosts of meetings past.

Why is this? Instead of re-thinking why we take minutes, we’ve simply slapped new technologies on to the process. Typewriters replaced pen and paper and laptops replaced typewriters. While these upgrades addressed the efficiency of taking minutes, they’ve done very little to make them more meaningful.

Transforming The Way We Take Minutes

Meetings are a collaborative event. Identifying the relevant details during a budget meeting or after a vote is easy. The same can’t be said for a creative, open-ended discussion. A great point runs the risk of being lost by the person taking notes if it’s not explicitly deemed a concrete outcome by the entire group.

On the other hand, directing an employee to frantically record everything that’s said results in a lengthy document that no one wants to read. And this problem is only amplified by seemingly time-saving tools like voice-to-text software.

There’s the rub. It’s not our equipment that’s all wrong. It’s our style of recording minutes that’s retro, and it’s in need of a serious upgrade.

The Kutamo Connection

Efficiency is about saving time and reducing waste. We tend to forget the latter and overemphasize the former. Successfully keeping every meeting under thirty minutes doesn’t do a lot of good if you wind up with a series of half-hour meetings that produce few results. This is often what happens when there’s a fuzzy understanding of what was previously discussed.

Kutamo’s online meeting management platform bridges the gap between saving time and using time. Instead of an administrative chore, taking minutes becomes an interactive process where participants collaborate on the platform in real-time to effectively engage and take shared notes of ideas.

And those formal minutes your company requires you to file away? Kutamo automatically generates minutes based on these real-time team notes that can be printed out or electronically shared. Important discussions aren’t forgotten, since each participant contributes to the final document.

Today’s organizations need tools that buck the rigidity of the past and keep up with our new dynamic world of work. Sign up for Kutamo today to upgrade your meetings by taking minutes that matter.

Meetings / Business