Making Better Use of Your Meetings

Making Better Use of Your Meetings

Of the many things learned in my experience in management, the value of good meetings would have to be at the top of the list. Think about how much time you are in meetings, how important they are to you in setting or getting direction, developing budgets, establishing programs, and the list goes on. Being in meetings that are managed well can make a significant difference in the culture of a company. It is where accountability and collaboration hit come together. I have posted twice previously on meetings, one being rather prescriptive, Your Next Meeting,  and the second, Get More from Your Meetings, is more in line with the article I am sharing in this post, The First Fives of a Meeting – Shape Its Outcome.

The prior post about the first five minutes of any meeting is spot on. How many meetings have you been in where it takes a fair amount of time to figure out why you are there? Establishing the purpose of any meeting and the desired outcome of the meeting is critical. Hopefully, you will find this article helpful in running your meetings, and for those you don’t run, share the article with those who run your meetings. It might help, and you have the benefit of attending meetings you might enjoy and find very productive.

In full disclosure, I am a huge fan of Patrick Lencioni and have read his book Death by Meetings. If you really want to hit home runs on the meeting front, I suggest reading this book and applying many of the simple yet powerful ideas to your meeting structure. And, just because we work in a ski area doesn’t mean we don’t need productive and enlightening meetings.

Data and Information

Database of record: Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Rapid, intuitive retrieval of current and historical data (accessible on or offsite) improves decision making at all levels of management.

Simple report generation.

Reduces risk and potential lawsuits.

Supports visualization of current and future mountain infrastructure (e.g. Gazex explosives locations, forest thinning, designing new runs, parking, etc.).


Please click on the images to learn more

Ski Patrol

  • Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).
  • Use of common language allows for consistent communication and information sharing.
  • Increases safety by minimizing accidents through pattern analysis of incidents.
  • Accident Investigation and Risk Management.
  • Snow Safety (Ski Patrol) Training.

The web and mobile application suite will provide editing and data collection tools for mapping incidents (wrecks, accidents) of any kind.

Please click on the images to learn more.

Avalanche Module


Ability to document, track and analyze slope conditions with one tool.

Ease of real-time data entry (no more logbooks or spreadsheets!).

 Centralized and organized data assists in recognizing and evaluating patterns, resulting in more thoughtful planning and informed predictions.

Provides detailed current and historical weather patterns for visualizing/predicting.

Saves money through more precise use of explosives. 

Please click on the images to learn more.


The dispatch and risk module leverage Esri’s Survey 123 for ArcGIS, providing an intuitive survey-form, data-driven workflow for point feature collection and reporting. Data collected with SmartMountain Survey apps, which are available for both web browsers and native desktop and mobile apps for standard operating systems, are integrated with one or more SmartMountain modules, providing real-time or disconnected and later synchronized workflows for data collection and integration.

Each ski resort decided what they wish to display on the Dispatch Dashboard including on-hill incidents, walk-in incidents, on-hill refusals,  missing persons, work details for different departments, ski patrol rosters for the day, clearances, and sweeps.

Please click on the images to learn more.


  • Logs for Lift Maintenance, Lift Operations, and Groomer inspections, as well as building inspections.
  • Logs can record data and signatures, can record stops, station assignments.
  • Logs are tracked by calendar.


  • Management review made easy through the use of Excel – reviewing a major grouping of assets or a single component of an asset such as a drive or a gearbox.
  • All information related to a system(asset) is in one place whether it be a lift inspection report, a manual, oil analysis, a service bulletin, or a letter from a vendor.


  • Every user has a unique dashboard.
  • Dashboards can be customized to reflect a user’s specific needs.
  • Quick access to the status of work and cost .


  • The schedule function in MountainOffice provides for detailed instructions by task, recording of data such as the temperature of a gearbox, and service bulletins.
  • All schedules can have a time or counter trigger.