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Big Bad Meetings


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Meetings get a bad rap for being inefficient due to the duration, the size of audience, the preparation, and the list goes on. But the problem is much simpler to solve and starts with recognizing that your meetings should be a productive endeavour geared towards solving a need.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Big Bad Meetings

  1. 1. BIG BAD MEETINGS Greg Thomas
  2. 2. When did meetings start going from good to Bad to Worst?
  3. 3. When did meetings start become an accomplishment of the week?
  4. 4. TODAYYESTERDAY TOMORROW When did our meetings become more about howthey are delivered and less about WHY they are delivered?
  5. 5. When did we enter the era of… BIG. BAD. MEETINGS.
  6. 6. 10 Minutes is all you need to take your meetings from BADto AMAZING.
  7. 7. Lets put a few myths to rest • It's not about how many people you invite. • It's not about whether it is held on a conference call or in the office. • It's not about the complexity of the topic. • It's not about the duration of the meeting. • It’s not about the length of your slide deck. And it definitely makes no difference if you are sitting down or standing up (see addendum).
  8. 8. It's about the moment you forgot YOUhad to show up to do something. And your meetings no longer focused On addressing a need.
  9. 9. That's right, after a number of successful meetings, YOUbecame "busy". YOUdecided to take a step back and let the meeting run itself. Maybe YOU even made it a recurring event because it was "easier" to schedule in your calendar (again see addendum). Whatever it was, YOUswitched to Autopilot and the "Big Bad Meeting" took the fall. idea
  10. 10. The See Pattern
  11. 11. youcalled the meeting. youare running the meeting. youNEED the meeting. The success andvalue that meeting provides resides with youand only you.
  12. 12. Outlook, GMail, Skype, OneNote, SLACK Evernote, ZOOM and whatever other tool you use for scheduling and running your meetings take the fall. (Which is completely unfair because these are unwilling partipants in your meeting).
  13. 13. When we were smaller, we were GREATat meetings. 2016 2017 2018
  14. 14. OF COURSE YOU WERE Because you were small, you were starting out , emotions were at a fever pitch, and everyone was ENGAGED!
  15. 15. 1 23 You didn't call meetings because you wanted or had to, you called them because you NEEDED to. ENGAGEMENT
  16. 16. Engagement at meetings does not come for free
  17. 17. it takes work Defining the need Setting the roster Using the right tools Delivering The kick
  18. 18. Goodmeetings start with a topic to be discussed. Greatmeetings have some action items and goals. Amazingmeetings establish why the meeting is happening and define the NEEDfor getting together. Defining the Need
  19. 19. If you don't know why you are meeting, then DON’T.
  20. 20. When was the last time you "wanted" to go to a meeting? Take a look at your calendar - which ones do you "NEED" to go to?
  21. 21. Don't setup (or attend) a meeting you don't need to be there for. If you needto be there, someone will let you know (trust me they will).
  22. 22. I've been on meetings with 50 people that were significantly more productive then a meeting with 5 people.* SETTING THE ROSTER *(True Story)
  23. 23. It's notthe size of your meeting roster that matters,its the number of engaged people that will contributeto the meeting that matter.
  24. 24. "I'm only inviting you in case there is something you want to say.“ "I need you there in case someone disagrees with me.“ "I'm not sure who should attend, so I‘m inviting everyone." How many times have you heard?
  25. 25. Everyone’s time in your meeting is valuable. Don’t waste it.
  26. 26. Keep the Roster to those that you NEED to be there and tjpse that will contribute to SOLVING the NEED.
  27. 27. And bring as many people you want, as long as they are all able to solve the need. BRINGTHEMALL If they can’t contribute to solving the need, DON’T INVITE THEM.
  28. 28. ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE ENGAGE Once people know they are NEEDED to step- up at the meeting, their ears perk up, their interest increases and their ENGAGEMENT increases by a factor of 10. INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
  29. 29. Using the right tools Hello can you hear me? I think I was on mute? Sorry there was a train behind me?
  30. 30. Don’t BLAME THE PHONE Conference calls are never perfect and with the advent of mobile devices, this has only become a trickier problem to solve.
  31. 31. Texting Working The silent killer behind every conference call is that every attendee CAN be doing somethingelse while "listening in".
  32. 32. "Sorry, can you repeat that?“ "Sorry, someone came by to ask me a question?“ "Sorry, I received a text from my daughter." How many times have you heard
  33. 33. NO MORE!!!! The bandwidth is there, everyone has built in cameras and webcams on their devices. Video it up so everyone is looking at their screen and eyeballs are ENGAGED on your meeting.
  34. 34. But what if they don’t have video?
  35. 35. Kick them out! They are telling you that this meeting is not a priority for them (otherwise they’d connect via their phone).
  37. 37. Everyone is in the same room and they are all using their phones and laptops? BUT WHAT IF…
  38. 38. Protection First person who picks up their phone or looks at their laptop buys lunch for everyone.
  39. 39. goal is ENGAGEMENT, not passive accomplishment in attendance. YOUR seriously…
  40. 40. The only difference between meeting with people in A room or remotely is that you now have the opportunity to have your meeting fail globally!
  41. 41. Deliver the kick How many times have you left a meeting not knowing what you did for the last hour? No purpose, No direction, No understanding of what’s next?
  42. 42. KICKS are the actions to solve the need for the initial meeting
  43. 43. ENGAGE IF you aren’t giving your roster a kick then what’s the point?
  44. 44. There isn’t one.
  45. 45. The Kick is about identifying who is doing what and what comes next.
  46. 46. Whose it for? The Kick is for everyone at the meeting, NOT THOSE THAT DIDN’T ATTEND THE MEETING (NO PHANTOM KICKS)! PHANTOM KICK – When an “action item” is assigned to someone not in attendance at the meeting.
  47. 47. JANUARY 2018 The KICK IS Not about… Listing people’s action items to be completedbefore the nextmeeting. (because we all know that thoseitems get completed the momentbefore OR worse, during the next meeting)
  48. 48. So how do you make your meetings amazing? 1
  49. 49. Identify your Need – not during, BEFORE the meeting is setup. Pick Your Roster – only invite those that can help solve your need Choose Your Tools – don’t let them drive you. Deliver The Kick – what happens next?
  50. 50. 800mph Turn off the autopilot and make it happen.
  51. 51. The Addendum Some thoughts on Duration, Status, recurring and standup meetings.
  52. 52. How longshould my meeting be? Your NEED will define the duration, not the auto suggestions from GMAIL or Outlook. What do you NEED.
  53. 53. Recurring meetings are the best way to fill your calendar and look busy. But never accomplishanything.
  54. 54. RECURRING MEETINGSare placeholders disguised as future productivity that can be canceledat the last minute.
  55. 55. what if people are busy? Findanother time, showthem the need for them to be at your meeting. what if we really need to meet next week? If the need is that high,you should be meeting now. what if someone takes our room? Meet at someone's desk. BUT… BUT… BUT…
  56. 56. STATUS MEETINGS are a demotivating exercise in attempted productivity. You will never gleam enough value from these meetings to make up for your lost productivity.
  57. 57. STATUS MEETINGS have little to no Engagement within them as EVERYONE is focused on other tasks while they wait for their turn to speak.
  58. 58. In essenCe, theyare a mechanismby whichyou can distract yourself from solving a real need.
  59. 59. Stand-up meetings are the greatest meetings, every meeting should be a stand-up!
  60. 60. Standup meetings are as effective as the person that is running them. the roster is engaged and the need is identified at the onset.
  61. 61. peopleclicking on a Kanban board(for the sakeof clicking), interrupting people'sproductivity and general talkingabout nothingIF no need is defined. Be wary of a recurring Standup Meetings as the same problems can emerge
  62. 62. That’s it Now go have some amazing meetings
  63. 63. T h e e n d Greg Thomas
  64. 64. My Other STORIES How to Make Great Estimates Understanding and making software estimates. How to Build a Great Team All the traits you need for a great team. Making Great Performance Reviews How to get the most out of your next review. Understanding Requirements The components of great requirements The Villians of a Great Team Overcoming the Villians of a great team. How to Become a Great Storyteller Make your presentations sing.