Two of our members were sick, another couldn’t get a flight back to NYC in time, and a fourth was on vacation. That left only three of us for our March meeting. We tried to reschedule the meeting to another date in March, but nothing worked because it was so last minute. The idea of canceling the meeting came up because with only three people left, we worried that the Forum meeting wouldn’t be worth giving up four hours during the work week.
The goal is for everyone to attend every monthly Forum meeting, but things happen and people can’t make the meetings. That’s why most Forums allow members to miss two Forum meetings per year. But if the idea of skipping a monthly meeting entirely comes up, I strongly suggest that you NEVER cancel a monthly meeting for two main reasons:
- Weak Forum Culture – Canceling a monthly meeting is a red flag that a Forum is in trouble. Usually, it shows a lack of commitment from the members, as well as a willingness to bend the agreed upon rules in the Code of Conduct.
- Signaling Importance – Even if only three members can attend, you are sending a signal to yourself, and the rest of the group, about how important the meetings are.
Even if people can’t attend the meeting, it’s a good idea to have the whole group pre-submit their monthly update and goals report. The reason for this is because so much value comes from simply preparing the monthly update prior to the meeting. The meeting acts as accountability for each member to carve out 30-40 minutes of their month to reflect back on what happened over the past 30 days.
Lastly, if there are only a few people in attendance, then it’s ok to modify the agenda, as the group probably won’t need the full three or four hours. The length of the meeting doesn’t matter as much as sticking to the commitment to meet.
So should you cancel your monthly meeting? No!