Experts on managing meetings (yes, such people exist) tell us that if we want to lead a successful meeting we must have an agenda.
- An agenda provides structure.
- An agenda allows participants to be better prepared.
- An agenda focuses discussion.
As positive as agendas are said to be, they are not egalitarian.
Because any agenda that lists the topics to be discussed also determines – by omission – items that won’t be discussed.
Just as streaming services control what we see by front-loading profitable titles, an agenda controls what is seen by front-loading topics the person running the meeting considers important.
As Tristan Harris, Google’s former Design Ethicist has said,
If you control the menu, you control the choice.
Controlling choice – whether with online shopping or in meetings – may not always be a positive thing…
…but it is a powerful thing.