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Effective Meetings

Effective Meetings



Too much of our lives is spent in meetings. Why then do we tolerate so much of our time being wasted? Effective meetings happen by design, not by accident. Here is a way forward. For related ...

Too much of our lives is spent in meetings. Why then do we tolerate so much of our time being wasted? Effective meetings happen by design, not by accident. Here is a way forward. For related resources, visit our website: www.kenhaycock.com.



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    Effective Meetings Effective Meetings Presentation Transcript

    • Effective Meetings Dr. Ken Haycock 2011 For related resources, visit our website: www.kenhaycock.com
    • Definitions
      • A meeting is a purposeful formal gathering of organizational members to determine and undertake tasks to advance the agenda, maintain functions and processes and build the group’s capacity to act in the future.
      • Meetings are concerned with people and processes to develop and advance the organization’s goals.
    • Some Reasons for Meetings
      • Dispense information (cannot be the only reason!)
      • Solve problems
      • Plan/strategize tasks
      • Air concerns
      • Invest in board growth and learning
      • Motivate staff
      • Make/validate decisions
      • Create new options, visions, directions
      • Establish new governance procedures
      • Evaluate works in progress
      • Celebrate successes
    • Essential Questions
      • Am I willing to invest the time to create an identity for our Board and a sense of teamwork?
      • Am I willing to work with the Board to move deliberations and operations to the level of setting policy, goals, priorities, processes and frameworks and monitor implementation?
      • Am I willing to delegate to staff the means of implementation?
      • Am I willing to avoid micromanagement and administration?
      • And I willing to be fair, consistent and constructive in feedback to the CEO?
    • Essential Questions
      • Can I acknowledge that the CEO directs the staff, not the Board? can I accept a CEO model of Board/staff relations?
      • Am I willing to invest the time in planning meetings to ensure success? [generate items; develop criteria; apply criteria]
      • Am I willing to invest in improvement? [feedback; retreats; process observer]
      • Am I willing to model the behaviors that the Board values? [consensus building? starting/finishing on time? moving the agenda forward?]
      • What is the current relationship among the Chair, CEO, board? What should it be?
    • Effective Boards/Meetings
      • Contextual characteristics
        • Mission, vision, values, strategic plan
      • Educational/ training characteristics
        • Training, retreats, role counterparts, self-assessment
      • Interpersonal characteristics
        • Inclusion, pairing, grooming, CEO partner, monitor health and morale of organization
      • Strategic characteristics
        • Strategic issues/plans drive agenda and work, monitor Board time and attention
      • Consider “CEO Workshops” if private meetings are not allowed for preliminary deliberations…
    • Norms/Ground Rules?
      • Arrive on time
      • Be informed; come prepared
      • Participate; ask questions; give opinions
      • Never make personal comments about someone; be respectful, trusting, caring
      • Board business in front of Board; personal business outside
      • Focus on ideas and issues, not people
      • Be honest; communicate authentically
      • Comment succinctly and on topic
      • Allow others to finish speaking
      • Seek first to understand
      • Assist the chair whenever possible; follow-up tasks
      • Summarize what has been accomplished
      • Finish on time
    • The Chair yes, you are responsible
      • Chair as Chair
      • Chair as Organizer
      • Chair as Facilitator
        • meeting progress; team development; conflict management; power struggles; always arrives early; reflects group process not self; pacing; observes; encourages; seeks contributions; clarifies, summarizes
    • Roles and Responsibilities
      • CEO
        • always arrives early; handles facility; acts as resource
        • secretary; corporate memory
      • Board Members
        • as Participants
        • as Colleagues
        • as Team Members (contract between chair and members)
        • understand group process
    • Meeting Goals
      • What do we want to accomplish? Put it in writing.
      • Is this meeting necessary?
      • Alternatives?
    • Explore Alternatives
      • Committee meetings: Governance; Planning and Policy; Audit
      • Copies of minutes/letters/reports: posted on Web site
      • Weekly bulletins/newsletters
      • Brown bag lunches/suppers
      • Electronic communication: teleconferences; e-mail; round robin memos; wikis; blogs
      • Telephone calls; informal conversations; (a)synchronous chat
      • Voice mail for board members
      • Executive summaries
    • The Facility
      • Plan seating, ventilation, lighting, temperature, equipment
      • Board table? Horseshoe/U-shape?
      • Head table? Seating of CEO?
      • Gallery: observers, guests (seating and materials)
    • Essential Components
      • Consent Agenda
      • Ground Rules
      • Demarcated Agenda
      • Self-reflection
      • Process Observer
    • The Agenda: Construction
      • Belongs to the Chair; starts mid-point between meetings; in consultation
      • Cluster critical items: information; decision (rank ordered); exploration (rank ordered)
      • Disseminated to those affected with all supporting materials (minutes; reports; related to decisions required) in advance on the meeting; week in advance
      • Plan on one and a half to two and a half hours (law of two feet)
    • The Agenda: Contents
      • Committee reports: standards format; one sheet maximum
      • No oral reports (what part of “n” “o” do you not understand?)
      • Consider color coding material
      • Last item: Issues for Next Agenda
      • Private/Executive/In-camera session: at beginning or end of regular meeting
    • Consent Agenda
      • Chair’s Determines; Board Decides
      • Remember: agenda belongs to meeting
      • Levels of Implementation
        • Cluster all reports: questions allowed
        • List all items: questions only if removed
      • Information only or “and recommendations and actions contained therein”
      • implications
    • Focus on the Process
      • Articulate at beginning of meeting: ground rules; organization of agenda
      • At beginning of item: how much time shall we allocate? When will you take questions?
      • Keep to topic: “help me understand how your comments address this topic”
    • Effective Decision-Making
      • Requires information, options, recommendations, right people present, preparation, participation
      • Common form and format, e.g., SOPPADA
      • Reflect Rhythms: information; easy decisions; more difficult decisions; discussion items (play time); easy decisions
    • Interactive Meetings
      • Plan for interaction:
        • pairs identify issues
        • points of agreements
        • signals for accept, can live with, cannot accept
    • Constructive Conflict
      • Substantive differences lead to better decisions, increased commitment, mutual respect, follow-through
      • Norms and tools for testing assumptions and conflict management
      • Worst: conflict avoidance; decisions by chair; decisions by most vocal; personalization… all lead to apathy, balkanization, poor decisions
      • Issue: conflict management
    • Process Problems
      • Group think (develop a culture of constructive skepticism)
      • Blocking, power-seeking, recognition-seeking, dominating, clowning
      • Late arrivals
    • Sample Agenda
      • 1. Introductory Remarks (state objectives and time)
        • Optional: information/announcements forum-10 minutes
      • 2. Approval of the Agenda
      • 3. Consent Agenda
        • Approval by consent; one motion
        • No discussion unless item removed
        • All information items, including minutes
        • All non-controversial reports
        • All non-controversial decision items
        • List and number all items; include a staff name or Board name and voice/e-mail information for contact
      • - mission statement -
    • Sample Agenda… 2
      • 4. For Discussion/Decision
        • written documents only
        • 1.
        • 2.
        • 3.
      • 5. For Exploration
        • at least one item on each agenda; use Board members as facilitators
        • 1.
        • 2.
      • 6. Items for Next Agenda
      • 7. Private Session
      • - mission statement -
    • The Minutes
      • Decisions made and actions taken only
      • Who is responsible for action and by what date?
      • Pending list
      • Tracking list (track disposition of decisions)
      • Work flows from priorities and decisions
    • Dissemination
      • Announce meetings, including date, time and location
      • Post agendas (print and electronic)
      • Post minutes (print and electronic)
      • Your Public Profile: your Web site is likely incomplete and out of date…
    • Self-Assessment
      • Criteria: useful; satisfying; fun
      • Process observer
      • Checklists: “I” and “we”
        • each ground rule; seek clarification; opinions welcomed and respected; summarize progress and decisions; encourage others; support others; listen attentively
        • never; occasionally; often
      • Identify corporate beliefs (“always been this way”) and challenge
      • Annual Reviews Process and Outcomes
    • Bottom Line…
      • How will the quality of life in our community have been improved as a result of our meeting here tonight?
    • To your success… contact me
      • Sometimes you feel awkward about asking a question…
        • Sometimes there isn’t time…
          • Sometimes you think about something later… Ken
      • Dr. Ken Haycock
        • [email_address]
        • 778.689.5938
      For related resources, visit our website: www.kenhaycock.com