Task Forces are valuable for associations for a number of reasons. They play an integral role in addressing specific challenges or new initiatives and driving the organization’s missions and goals. Task forces perform within a specific timeframe and strive to make each meeting actionable to ensure maximum efficiencies and most importantly, to get the job done.
Task Forces can be comprised of the association’s Board members, staff, and members. The goal is to bring together like-minded individuals with expertise that will ensure the best results and set the association up for success.
Below are some tips to help ensure the success of an association’s task force meetings:
Roles & Responsibilities
Appoint a meeting Chair will strong communications skills to ensure meetings stay on track, to be the voice of reason when different opinions of the task force come into play and can ensure everyone has a voice in the meetings. It is important that the Chair can keep the meeting on track, as well.
Be sure to define the purpose and objectives of the task force clearly. Provide a guiding question for the task force’s inaugural meeting to ensure all are aligned and understand the goals and deliverables required for each meeting.
Curate a strategic and structured agenda and distribute to task force members in advance of the meeting. Provide realistic time allocations for each agenda item with a deadline to ensure meeting efficiencies.
Preparation is Key
Ask members to prepare in advance of the meeting by reviewing provided or relevant materials and to think about possible solutions or ideas prior to coming to the meeting so that everyone can ‘hit ground running’ and achieve as much as possible with each meeting.
Because task forces are typically in place for 12 months or less, it’s important to establish a regular meeting schedule to encourage attendance, commitment, and consistency. Stick to the schedule to build a ‘routine’ that members can plan around in advance.
Technology and Logistics
Ensure technology or logistics are accessible to all members. Always key to record task force meetings when doing them virtually to provide the recording or a transcript of the meeting to any members who were unable to join or as a reference for future meetings.
Key to any successful task force is engagement and meeting of the minds. If members are not engaged and feeling valued, then the task force may fail. The key to a successful task force is providing an inclusive environment where all thrive, are heard, and bring value to the table.
Ok, we can all remember the dreaded partnering in school for class projects where we either the person doing all the work or the person just getting by while others did the heavy lifting. Let’s avoid going back in time and have all members of the task force being accountable and carry the same weight and deliverables as all to ensure a successful (and happy!) result for all.
Post-meetings, a follow-up email that includes the minutes recorded, action items, deliverables and clear deadlines should be sent to all members.
Conflict Resolution & Transparency
Address conflicts or disagreements constructively and in a professional manner. Encourage open dialogue and find solutions that align with the association’s goals. Keep all members informed about the task force’s activities and progress. Transparency builds trust and engagement. And to ensure continuous improvement with each meeting, keep the agenda fluid to make necessary adjustments where necessary.
These tips can assist association task forces to maximum their meeting time, stay on track, meet their objectives with ease, while ensuring productive, inclusive, and engaging meetings that will contribute to the overall success of the organization.