A Conversation is not a Meeting

Applications for the Macktez Summer Stipend — our annual development grant of $1,000 — are now being accepted. For more than a dozen years Macktez has been encouraging the creative people we work with to pursue and complete the personal projects that may languish without a helpful push.

Applications are due July 20.

If you’re working with someone else on your summer project, or even if you are just asking a friend to review your application (as we suggest in our step-by-step application plan), then you’ll be having meetings.

We’ve all been in bad meetings, which can frustrate creative momentum and strain professional relationships. But if you follow a few simple rules, you can have meetings that are productive and worthwhile:

– A meeting needs an agenda, or at least an explicit purpose, that everyone knows ahead of time. What are you there to decide, what do you need to accomplish together?
– Turn conversation into action items as soon as possible. Take responsibility. Prioritize action over discussion.
– Meetings yield actionable tasks. Those tasks should be assigned so that everyone knows who’s doing what. Pick deadlines for each one.
– Set a date right away for the next meeting you need to have.
– Someone needs to take notes and share those notes afterward.
– Aim to wrap up 5 minutes early. And if you’re done early, end the meeting early.

A meeting always moves a project forward. If a meeting ends but no actionable tasks were assigned, then it wasn’t a meeting. It was a conversation. Now, good conversations should be a part of work — tossing ideas around, debriefing, decompressing, goofing around — but don’t mistake a good conversation for a good meeting.

Summer Stipend 2019

So if you are working on a personal project, and you think $1,000 would help you cross the finish line, we want to hear about it.

We evaluate applications on three simple criteria: originality, relevance, and conviction. One Stipend recipient will be selected from our all-star panel.

Again, the deadline is July 20.

Applications for 2019 are now closed.