There really is “power in the pen”. The person who takes notes and then drafts and distributes the Meeting Record is demonstrating leadership. Deciding how what happened in a meeting is to be memorialized is a power move. Those who want to be leaders and who want to be powerful will find that owning and driving the process to produce Meeting Records is the way to go!
Every meeting has three kinds of outputs: Action Items, Insights, and Decisions. It doesn’t matter so much who said what and when they said it. What matters is what all those in attendance agreed to along these three dimensions.
The Meeting Owner should designate someone to serve as the official note-taker at the start of the meeting. During the meeting everyone helps the appointed note-taker to keep track of Action Items, Insights, and Decisions as they occur. The note-taker reviews with attendees what they have noted just before adjourning . Upgrades are offered and duly noted.
Within 36 hours; that is before the “forgetting curve” kicks in, the Meeting Record should be drafted by the designated note-taker and reviewed and upgraded by the Meeting Owner. The Meeting Record should then be distributed in draft form to all attendees who each check their own notes and recollections to suggest upgrades.
The note-taker and Meeting Owner consolidate and reconcile any and all input to arrive at a final record that is distributed and filed for future reference.
A sample Meeting Record Template and an Example Meeting Record follow: