Meetings, Meetings, Meetings Can they be better? YES! Kathleen Paulo, MSW
Key Steps of Meeting Design • Design team formation- facilitator works with leader/sponsor & small work team to prepare • Allow time to prepare – 1 to 3 times the length of meeting • Written agenda- with objectives, activities, lead staff, and timeframes • Key roles should be done by different people • facilitator, • timekeeper, • recorder, • subject matter experts)
Meeting Design Critical Questions – Will shape meeting design process • What do you want to accomplish at meeting? • Information-sharing , decision making or team building? • Is a meeting in a conference room necessary? Best way to accomplish your goal? • What are alternatives to in-person meeting? -virtual, conference calls, stand up hallway huddles
Who are the key stakeholders, subject matter experts, & decision makers connected to the purpose and product of the meeting? • Who in senior leadership needs to be informed and approve of the purpose and product of meeting? • What is your desired role in meeting design, during the meeting and in follow-up? • What decisions can be made by participants? • What decisions will be made by others (managers, leadership, legislation, etc)?
What are the major time frames – meeting length, planning time, due dates for accomplishments that will come from meeting? • Is this an one-time meeting, regularly held (e.g. monthly project meeting), or initial meeting of a new group ? • Who will attend – total number, specific individuals to invite? • What are the participants expectations of the meeting accomplishments? • What documentation is needed to enhance meeting results?
Four Useful Meeting Structures • Consensus Workshop – brainstorming with structure • Historical Scan- review of past important events to celebrate and enhance current work • Action Planning – moving ideas to action • World Café – an informal way to move group discussion to a deeper level.
Consensus WorkshopStructure • Definition: Excellent structure to brainstorm with small to large groups • Time needed: 60 -90 minutes • Key components: • Individual brainstorm • Small group selection of best ideas • Larger group identifying common ideas
Consensus WorkshopBenefits & Application Benefits: • Build practical team consensus • Generates creativity in limited timeframe • Infuses the team with a sense of responsibility Application: • Set team priorities • Agree on criteria for decisions • Create alignment in teams • Develop policy or quality improvement
Historical ScanStructure • Definition: [aka environmental analysis, or Wall of Wonder]. Utilizes a timeline to facilitate discussion of current context • Time needed: 90 minutes • Key components: • Participants co-create a historical scan of significant events on a timeline • Timeline is segmented into three key categories – e.g. world , industry and organization • Group discussion focused on where critical shifts happened and better understanding of the larger context
Historical ScanBenefits & Application Benefits: • Provides enlarged contextual perspective • Celebratory and highly participatory review of significant history in an organization’s life Application: • Useful exercise before development of mission statements or strategic planning • Energetic introduction to organizations history for with new leaders or team members
Action PlanningStructure • Definition: method of short term planning of a event or project where there is agreement and consensus • Time needed: 2 – 4 hours • Key components: • Co-created vision of success • Group analysis of strengths, weaknesses, benefits & dangers
Action Planning Benefits & Application • Benefits: • Moves ideas to action • Clarifies team commitment to project activities & outcome • Designates leadership roles & responsibilities • Best Application • When plan or project is already decided upon
World CaféStructure • Definition: series of small group conversations to build group consensus • Time needed: 2-3 hours • Key components: • Café like atmosphere e.g. table cloths, small tables, small groups • Remix of groups and review of highlights of previous discussion • Structured questions to move group to consensus • Report back of discussions
World Café Benefits & Application • Benefits • Generates energy and excitement • Visually communicates a different approach to typical meetings • Creative approach to large group discussion on topics that matter • Application • Large group that is new to each other and the topic
Bibliography • The Facilitator’s Fieldbook: Step-by-Step Procedures; 2nd ed.; by Tom Justice & David W. Jamieson, Ph. D • Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making by Sam Kaner et al • Technology of Participation(ToP) Materials from Institute of Cultural Affairs CA-USA • Great Meetings, Great Results by Dee Kelsey & Pam Plumb • World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter; by Juanita Brown
Websites to find facilitators, trainers and workshops • http://www.ica-usa.org/ • http://iaf-world.org/index.aspx Contact information: Kathleen Paulo MSW 510-267-3262 Kathleen.email@example.com