How can we improve meetings?

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11 questions about meetings. Research included.

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How can we improve meetings?

  1. 1. How can we improve meetings?
  2. 2. 1. What is the purpose of the meeting? 2. Who will moderate the meeting? 3. How will the moderator prepare the agenda? 4. Who should the moderator invite to participate in the meeting? 5. How will the moderator prepare time and place of the meeting? 6. How will the moderator start the meeting? 7. How will the moderator moderate idea sharing? 8. How will the moderator moderate decision making? 9. How will people choose what they want to do? 10. How will the moderator finish the meeting? 11. How will the moderator follow up on the meeting?
  3. 3. Question # 1 What is the purpose of the meeting?
  4. 4. https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track http://www.inc.com/chuck-blakeman/great-companies-are-making-all-meetings-optional.html Intel imposed a rule that no one could hold a meeting without a clear purpose.
  5. 5. Christopher Frank, American Express, articulates the purpose of a meeting in 5 words or less. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/15-secrets-running-meetings-like-the-worlds-top-innovative-companies.html
  6. 6. Defining the purpose of the meeting may be the key to solving the problem. http://www.destination-innovation.com/articles/how-to-run-super-effective-meetings https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track https://hbr.org/2015/03/a-checklist-for-planning-your-next-big-meeting
  7. 7. Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 374. http://bigthink.com/series/70/series_item/4981 http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/how-to-solve-the-1-problem-with-meetings/ We must keep meetings about decisions. The only way to do so is to cancel informational meetings – thereby saving people’s time.
  8. 8. Using the word “money” instead of “time” when scheduling your week, you’ll be more careful and judicious about whether to spend your time in meetings or not. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204642604577215013504567548.html
  9. 9. Every time someone called a meeting, designer Will Wright charged the person a dollar. https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Governance/Leadership/Why_good_bosses_tune_in_to_their_people_2656
  10. 10. Should I hold a meeting? https://hbr.org/2015/03/do-you-really-need-to-hold-that-meeting https://hbr.org/2015/04/all-the-charts-tables-and-checklists-you-need-to-conduct-better-meetings
  11. 11. Question # 2 Who will moderate the meeting?
  12. 12. Moderator possibilities # 1: A manager # 3: An external moderator # 2: An employee
  13. 13. A manager is intellectually so challenged, that he/she is not capable of managing the process. http://news.nzzexecutive.ch/arbeitsmarkt/uebersicht/tv_sprecher_sind_eigentlich_keine_moderatoren_1.8140678.html
  14. 14. Reason # 1 Managers and employees show more respect for an external facilitator. Reason # 2 People take things more seriously when an external facilitator manages the meeting. 2 reasons why an external facilitator is the better choice Ravn, Ib: Facilitering, p. 27-28.
  15. 15. Further inspiration http://fac-vid.squarespace.com/bedre-moeder/Ravn%20-%20Bedre%20mder%20gennem%20facilitering.pdf https://www.scribd.com/doc/22065544/7-Skill-4-Effective-Facilitation https://www.scribd.com/doc/16915436/08-Facilitation-Skills-Self-Assessment https://www.scribd.com/doc/7102259/How-to-Be-Good-Facilitator
  16. 16. Question # 3 How will the moderator prepare the meeting agenda?
  17. 17. Task A Select topics that affect all participants
  18. 18. Put the biggest problems and the best opportunities at the start of the agenda. http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/8-ways-to-create-great-meetings/ http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/polite-meetings-waste-time/ https://hbr.org/2014/08/save-your-next-staff-meeting-from-itself/
  19. 19. Task B Get inputs from potential participants
  20. 20. Use, for example, https://drive.google.com/ to seek inputs to the agenda from potential meeting participants. https://hbr.org/2015/03/what-everyone-needs-to-know-about-running-productive-meetings https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  21. 21. Task C Formulate the meeting agenda as questions
  22. 22. Formulating the meeting agenda as questions will help participants to better prepare. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  23. 23. Task D Define time to be spent on each topic on the agenda
  24. 24. Adapted from https://hbr.org/2011/03/how-to-conduct-a-virtual-meeti To help people be fully engaged in the meeting, plan the meeting in 10-minute sessions.
  25. 25. Task E Specify how participants should prepare for the meeting
  26. 26. In the meeting invitation, include links to some material that can help people learn more about the meeting topic. Adapted from Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 294.
  27. 27. Task F Identify, next to each topic on the agenda, who is leading the topic
  28. 28. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  29. 29. The person, that leads a meeting topic, may  be providing context for the topic,  be explaining data, or  have organizational responsibility for that area. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  30. 30. Further inspiration https://hbr.org/2014/04/how-a-weekly-meeting-took-up-300000-hours-a-year/ http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/8-ways-to-create-great-meetings/ http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/how-to-quickly-end-useless-meetings/ http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/8-ways-to-create-great-meetings/
  31. 31. Question # 4 Who should the moderator invite to participate in the meeting?
  32. 32. Invite only the people who are necessary for resolving the decision that has been presented. Sources http://www.businessinsider.com/this-is-how-larry-page-changed-meetings-at-google-after-taking-over-last-spring-2012-1 https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track/ http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/podcasts/ciscocast_morten_hansen_110909.html
  33. 33. Once you've got 7 people in a decision-making group, each additional member reduces decision effectiveness by 10%. https://hbr.org/2014/06/yes-you-can-make-meetings-more-productive http://web.hbr.org/email/archive/dailystat.php?date=092810
  34. 34. Invite expert contributors to come and present a point of view without attending the entire meeting. Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 595. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/strategy/taking_the_bias_out_of_meetings
  35. 35. Consider making all meetings open by default. Share meeting details on a website. Let anyone be able to participate on the call, in chat etc. http://www.mixhackathon.org/hackathon/contribution/all-meetings-default-open
  36. 36. http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00278?pg=all Make meeting attendance voluntary.
  37. 37. If you choose to attend a meeting, you must be 1. contributing. 2. learning. The law of 2 feet http://www.inc.com/chuck-blakeman/great-companies-are-making-all-meetings-optional.html
  38. 38. Say no to a meeting you won’t add value to Hi Ben, After reviewing your meeting agenda, I have decided that although this decision affects my team, I have no strong opinion on the matter, nor do I feel qualified to participate. Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 612.
  39. 39. Should you attend the meeting? https://hbr.org/2015/04/all-the-charts-tables-and-checklists-you-need-to-conduct-better-meetings
  40. 40. Question # 5 How will the moderator prepare time and place of the meeting?
  41. 41. Task A Find meeting time
  42. 42. Sources http://www.doodle.com/ https://www.google.com/calendar/ https://hbr.org/2015/03/the-tools-you-need-to-make-every-meeting-more-productive
  43. 43. Keep the duration of the meeting as short and unconventional as possible. Example: 23 minutes. Adapted from Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 294. http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/strategy/strategic_decisions_when_can_you_trust_your_gut
  44. 44. Task B Define Internet meeting place
  45. 45. Sources https://hangouts.google.com/ http://www.skype.com/
  46. 46. Task C Prepare physical meeting room before the start
  47. 47. Idea to keep focus on customers Jeff Bezos brought an empty chair into meetings to encourage meeting participants to think about the customer. http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/leadership-lessons-from-jeff-bezos
  48. 48. Chairs Possibility 1: Use no chairs. Possibility 2: Place chairs in a circle. Tables Possibility 1: Use no tables. Possibility 2: Use as small tables as possible. Ideas to increase interaction Sources Ravn, Ib: Facilitering, p. 51. http://sumpeople.ch/2013/12/year-end-reflection-where-is-your-team-where-are-you/
  49. 49. 1. Clean up the room. 2. Get fresh air into the room. 3. Use flowers to make the room look nice. 3 ideas to freshen up the room Adapted from Ravn, Ib: Facilitering, p. 52.
  50. 50. Research shows that sit-down meetings were 34% longer than stand-up meetings, but they produced no better decisions than stand-up meetings. http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/31505/in-praise-of-stand-up-meetings Idea to save time
  51. 51. Facebook’s engineering manager, Mark Tonkelowitz, holds 15-minute stand-up meetings at 12 o’clock. No chairs and an impending lunchtime keep updates short. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/15-secrets-running-meetings-like-the-worlds-top-innovative-companies.html
  52. 52. Question # 6 How will the moderator start the meeting?
  53. 53. Input A Welcome people to the meeting http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/01/making-meetings-more-expensive.html http://www.managementexchange.com/story/meetings-can-be-tools-turn-problems-innovation-–-when-participants-participate
  54. 54. A welcome can be as simple as saying “Hi Jane”. http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00278?pg=all
  55. 55. Input B Start the meeting on time http://fac-vid.squarespace.com/bedre-moeder/Ravn%20-%20Bedre%20mder%20gennem%20facilitering.pdf p. 4.
  56. 56. Input C Present the meeting agenda http://www.entrepreneur.com/management/operations/article207490.html
  57. 57. Input D Define values for the meeting
  58. 58. Ask each meeting participant to choose 1 value for how participants should work with each other during the meeting. The value, which is mentioned most frequently, is the key value of the meeting.
  59. 59. Further inspiration http://www.slideshare.net/frankcalberg/questions-to-discover-your-values
  60. 60. Input E Decide if devices should be shut off or not
  61. 61. https://hbr.org/2015/07/the-condensed-guide-to-running-meetings It's OK to ban devices from your meetings. Research shows we can’t multitask.
  62. 62. Question # 7 How will the moderator moderate idea sharing
  63. 63. Sources http://answergarden.ch/ https://www.atizo.com/starter/ http://www.partizo.com/ http://popplet.com/
  64. 64. https://hbr.org/2015/03/meetings-when-to-present-and-when-to-converse Take photos of what participants produced
  65. 65. Lenovo lets its staff stop any meeting that is wandering. http://www.inc.com/chuck-blakeman/great-companies-are-making-all-meetings-optional.html
  66. 66. https://youtu.be/4QXqgbMuHcE If someone uses their mobile phone in a meeting, stop the meeting and ask, ”excuse me, is there something on that mobile phone you need to share with everybody?”
  67. 67. If someone talks a lot, speak with her / him before the meeting or during a break, and ask her / him to please keep her / his comments to a minimum to allow others to be heard. https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track/
  68. 68. Further inspiration https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Brainstorming-the-disney-method-1449101 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Brainstorming-the-SCAMPER-method-1452356
  69. 69. Question # 8 How will the moderator moderate decision making?
  70. 70. Possibility A The moderator summarizes and concludes. Everyone silently agrees. http://fac-vid.squarespace.com/bedre-moeder/Ravn%20-%20Bedre%20mder%20gennem%20facilitering.pdf p. 9.
  71. 71. The facilitator will summarises what he / she has heard to secure agreement. And says: “So what I am hearing is ....... Am I right in thinking that you agree?” https://hbr.org/2016/02/before-a-meeting-tell-your-team-that-silence-means-agreement http://unlessiheardifferently.com/
  72. 72. Possibility B The moderator uses 6 thinking hats
  73. 73. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Six-thinking-hats-1455136
  74. 74. Possibility C The moderator makes a vote where the majority decides
  75. 75. Ideas Votes for Votes against Idea # 1 Idea # 2 Idea # 3
  76. 76. A majority vote allows every voice to be heard and is generally viewed as fair. https://hbr.org/2015/03/a-checklist-for-planning-your-next-big-meeting
  77. 77. Be aware that it may be difficult for some people to declare their opinion publicly. https://hbr.org/2015/03/a-checklist-for-planning-your-next-big-meeting
  78. 78. Possibility D The moderator asks a manager to decide
  79. 79. George, I’d like to hear your opinion as manager: What do you think we should do? Please be concrete.
  80. 80. Leader’s choice is usually the fastest approach, so it is the most appropriate in a crisis. https://hbr.org/2015/03/a-checklist-for-planning-your-next-big-meeting
  81. 81. Further inspiration https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-can-we-make-better-decisions-2058027
  82. 82. Question # 9 How will people choose what they want to do?
  83. 83. http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2011/05/09/how-to-make-your-ideas-actually-happen/ End each meeting with action steps.
  84. 84. What to do Period to do it Who will do it https://hbr.org/2014/08/save-your-next-staff-meeting-from-itself/
  85. 85. Two important things for making effective decisions: 1. Ask who wants to do what. 2. Ask when people want to do and finish tasks. Sources http://blogs.wsj.com/management/2009/03/24/the-facebook-generation-vs-te-fortune-500 https://hbr.org/2013/12/the-seven-imperatives-to-keeping-meetings-on-track https://hbr.org/2013/06/making-virtual-teams-work-ten
  86. 86. In the modern meeting, minutes are not required. All we need to know is the decision and the action plan. Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 358.
  87. 87. The moderator ask people, who takes responsibility for doing a certain task, to  write down the task at the meeting in his/her own words.  say out loud when he/she will have finished the task. Ravn, Ib: Facilitering, p. 88-89.
  88. 88. Question # 10 How will the moderator finish the meeting?
  89. 89. Task A The moderator asks every meeting participant to shortly say what he/she has chosen to do when http://www.entrepreneur.com/management/operations/article207490.html
  90. 90. Task B The moderator asks people to share what they found the most important actions steps Ravn, Ib: Facilitering, p. 90.
  91. 91. http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2011/05/09/how-to-make-your-ideas-actually-happen/ When you meet with clients or colleagues, end each meeting with a quick review of captured action steps. Each person shares – in maximum 30 seconds - what he/she learned.
  92. 92. Task C The moderator ends the meeting on time http://fac-vid.squarespace.com/bedre-moeder/Ravn%20-%20Bedre%20mder%20gennem%20facilitering.pdf p. 10.
  93. 93. Question # 11 How will the leader follow up on the meeting?
  94. 94. Write and distribute a 1 page meeting summary within 24 hours with information about who has chosen to do what. https://hbr.org/2015/11/two-things-to-do-after-every-meeting
  95. 95. Follow up with people to find out what other skills people need to do what they have said they would do. https://hbr.org/2015/11/two-things-to-do-after-every-meeting

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