Common agenda

This tool creates an open and jointly decided distribution of power during a meeting. It starts with a round in which all those present are given an opportunity to state:

  • what issue they want to raise
  • whether it is a matter of information, a discussion or a decision
  • how long the item is likely to take

All this is written on a flip-over pad so that everyone can read it.


This procedure is not particularly time-consuming and results in clear, open and joint priorities for the business of the meeting.If it turns out that the total time for all the items on the agenda exceeds the time available for the meeting, the allocation for particular items will have to be renegotiated, or perhaps there are items that can be postponed until the next meeting. Having settled this, each person is responsible for her item and presents it to the meeting.

It is advisable to appoint a time-keeper during the meeting. Between meetings the Common agenda should be easily accesible (on internet, perhaps?) so that the participants can see what issues the others have proposed and write down their own.

See also the section Democratic management

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Posted in Instruments for better meetings, Method Bank, Methods