What added value does an external ‘meeting’ chairman bring to the table?
A chairman has an exemplary position in a meeting and directs the participants regarding the manner of conferencing. As already mentioned, many meetings can perform better.
In companies, someone internally is often assigned the role of chairman, but can you blame them for the fact that meeting frustrations arise or that the meeting is inefficient? Chairmanship is an area of expertise and the people who are assigned this role in addition to their day-to-day work often do not have (sufficient) knowledge or skills. In addition, people within the company are often unaware of the causes of these meeting inefficiencies, frustrations and what can be done about it. An external chairman can provide a quick solution here. In the meantime, someone from within the company may be able to acquire the knowledge and skills to eventually take over the work of the external chairman again.
Do you no longer need an external chairman, when there are people internally who have sufficient knowledge and skills to make meetings run effectively and avoid meeting frustrations?
Many times this would be the case, however, there are situations where an internal chairman is not recommended, where a neutral external party can provide a solution. But, does this give the external party too much power over the (your) company or the decision to be made?
Why does the sub question above mention ‘meeting’ chairman, with meeting in-between quotation marks?
Chairmanship is often associated with decision makers / people in power, but this is a misconception. Many times, someone in a position of power is given an additional role as chair (regardless of the ability of this person).
To make it even more unclear, more often vacancies or job titles are created that are actual the leader of the board, but these are given the title of chairman.
In short: A chairman steers the meeting and communication process during the meeting, so in principle has no power in, and over the organization. If a decision has to be made, a chairman should be neutral in the decision-making. This makes it impossible for management to simultaneously act as chairman, to remain neutral, and get involved in the discussion / decision-making.
A chairman determines, for example, which agenda items are selected and discussed. However, certainly with an external chairman, this is discussed with the customer and during the start of the meeting will all participants.