ASTC 2013 Presentation: "Design 360 - Cross-Departmental Planning from All Directions" by Doug Buchanan
The Center of Science and Industry
Located in Columbus, Ohio, USA
320,000 square feet science museum
583,556 onsite visitors last year
About 300 full-time and part-time Team Members
Lots of projects +
lots of people +
collaborative culture =
lots of meetings
it hasn’t always been so.
Too many meetings.
When will I get my work done?
Why are so many people from our department here?
Why are we having this meeting?
Not everyone knows how to meet.
We should get rid of half our meetings.
To work cross-divisionally,
We cleared the decks and organized.
We spread out accountabilities.
We sought to end the era of “that's your
department’s problem, not mine.”
No one team member is in more than two
We even trained on how to meet.
The Result: Four Cross-Divisional Meetings
Designed to Help Us Move COSI Forward
1. Strategy Meeting
Meets: Every Wednesday from 8:00 – 10:00 AM
Major Activity: Strategy
Level of Focus: Executive
Time Horizon: 1 to 5 years out
Participants: President and VPs
Major Activities: strategic initiatives, strategic
plan, budget, holding balanced portfolio of
experiences, top-level reporting, campaigns,
major partner relations, major pricing revisions
2. Planning Meeting
Meets: Second Tuesdays from 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Major Activity: Planning
Level of Focus: Big Picture
Time Horizon: 12 months to 2 years out
Participants: directors, project managers, VP of
Regular Activities:vetting new programs,
exhibition rental and movie ideas,
interconnectedness of overall marketing and
fundraising plans, talent development, inputs
from strategic team and mobilization team
3. Mobilization Meeting
Frequency: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 1:30 – 2:30
Major Activity: Operations
Level of Focus: Medium-Picture
Time Horizon: 1 month to 12 months
Participants: managers and directors, project
managers as needed, VP Operations
• Regular activity: calendar and space negotiation,
resource capacity, research and evaluation
implementation, reporting, troubleshooting
4. Implementation Meeting
Meets: Weekly – Thursdays at 11:00 AM
Major Activity: Doing
Level of Focus: Small-Picture
Time Horizon: tomorrow to 4 weeks out
Participants: implementers, schedulers,
• Regular activity: use of resources and
equipment, daily event turnover, logistics,
communication, putting out fires before
guests see them, not decision-making.
Standing Meetings In a Nutshell
Team authority is based on time horizon
• If something is happening a year from now, for
example, Implementation must pass it up to
Aim to have the right frequency of meetings with the
right people in the room
Expect participation, not just attendance
Meeting recorder is the law enforcement officer
Re-evaluation should happen annually
Have a coach who reaches out to recorders: How's it
going? Are you missing someone critical? Do you
have people who don't need to be there?