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Meetings: Good or Bad?

Shane Holloway
September 24, 2019

Meetings: Good or Bad?

Shane Holloway

September 24, 2019
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  1. Meetings: Good or Bad? Lunch and Learn for September 24th,

    2019 by Shane Holloway
  2. &Meeting Working Are both built on four-letter words. * and

    are both too abstract to be meaningful.
  3. The Bad Meetings Doom Loop From the first chapter of

    Elise Keith’s Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization 1. I believe meetings waste time 2. I avoid wasting time preparing 3. I host ineffective meeting(s) 4. Others see that preparation for meetings is not expected. 5. Others become disengaged and frustrated. 6. Others catch the belief that meetings waste time. goto 1;
  4. Meetings Tools are simply that leverage skillful application

  5. The Virtuous Meeting Cycle Break out of that doom loop!

    Choose your initial belief. 1. I believe meetings bring us together to do great work. 2. I invest in designing, planning, and preparing my meetings. 3. Host better meetings over time. 4. Others see preparation and engagement is expected. 5. Others arrive ready to pursue the meeting goals. 6. Others catch the belief that meetings can be effective. goto 1; Adapted from chapter 1 of Elise Keith’s Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization
  6. O(n2⋅t) Kinda somewhat similar to Metcalfe’s Law. 1. Ensure only

    the right people are attending. 2. Stick with a small number of topics. Where: t : # of topics n : # of participants
  7. Meetings are an experiential & frequent expression of our culture.

  8. Both meetings and culture can be influenced by thoughtful design.

    * And that investment of effort can have high leverage and high reuse. & iteration!
  9. Meetings are Sociology in Action according to Helen Schwartzman, Ph.

    D., Psychological Anthropologist Effective meetings have a specific and definite purpose. (so write it in your plan!) Design the human-centric outcomes. Design the work-centric outcomes.
  10. Meetings: Good or Bad? You decide. Every meeting. Individual Writing

    Activity List your recently attended meetings. Beside each, note: 1. Number of attendees 2. Purpose, as you perceive it 3. Human outcome(s) 4. Work outcome(s) [5 min; t+22]
  11. None
  12. Meetings as a Skill ...and Skills can be learned!

  13. We meet to forge shared perspective & develop understanding of

    our collaborative work
  14. Effective Meetings need an Introduction a Summary & In the

    first 5 minutes, get everyone present, establish context & purpose In the last 5-10 minutes, summarize achievements, decisions, unresolved items, and next steps. Review action items and owners.
  15. Meeting Planning Skills Design and State • Specific and Definite

    Purpose • Desired Human Outcomes • Desired Work Outcomes • Plan the Flow: topic to topic, goal to goal * and expect to adapt the plan in real-time! Structure to Achieve • An Agenda is a good start; some kinds of meetings don’t need one • Start with one of 12 types of meeting. • Tile the 7 building blocks of meeting goals together. I love reusing knowledge! (I also love Legos...)
  16. 12 Types of Meetings • Cadence Meetings ◦ Team Cadence

    ◦ Progress Check ◦ One-on-One ◦ Action Review ◦ Governance Cadence • Catalyst Meetings ◦ Idea Generation ◦ Planning ◦ Workshops ◦ Problem Solving ◦ Decision Making • Learn & Influence Meetings ◦ Sensemaking ◦ Introductions ◦ Issue Resolution ◦ Community of Practice ◦ Training ◦ Broadcasts From section 3 of Elise Keith’s Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization Also see Lucid Meeting’s page on the 12 meeting types
  17. 7 Meeting Goal Building Blocks 1. Share Information 2. Advance

    the Thinking 3. Provide Input 4. Make Decisions 5. Improve Communication 6. Build Capacity 7. Build Community pp 167 Sam Kaner’s Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making
  18. Meeting Performance Skills • Respect time invested. Start & stop

    on time. • Introduction and summary are important. • Interactively take visible notes. • Engage your participants. • Publish notes with decisions & action items. • Level up: Seek feedback and ideas for improving
  19. Take Visible Notes It changes how we interact and think

    as humans. It also helps check for understanding.
  20. Design your meetings to fully leverage those powerful human brains!

  21. Perceived Meeting Quality (PMQ) Preparation • Clarity of purpose and

    desired human & work outcomes. • Solicit input and provide material in advance. • Agenda many hours ahead of the meeting (or it doesn’t work!) Performance • Set & deliver on expectations. • (Inter)active participation from everyone. • Respect time invested.
  22. Net Positive Impact (NPI) Did the meeting deliver meaningful outcomes

    to enable people to move the work forward? Did the meeting bring people together, forge shared perspective, and provide the impetus to deliver results?
  23. Effective Meetings ≝ PMQ + NPI Did it deliver on

    purpose & outcomes? Did the meeting let you feel productive & in the flow?
  24. 5 Focus Areas 1. Meeting Design 2. Meeting Skills 3.

    Stakeholder Satisfaction 4. Facilities, Technology, and Resources 5. Cultural Ownership Meeting Performance Maturity Model 5 Maturity Levels Level 1: Individual Level 2: Professional Level 3: Effective Level 4: Systematized Level 5: World Class Let’s aim for Level 3! From chapter 11 of Elise Keith’s Where the Action Is: The Meetings That Make or Break Your Organization and her company Lucid Meetings
  25. Meetings as a Skill Tricks of the Trade: Single Topic

    Agenda The Real-Time Agenda Individual Writing Activity Expound your list of recently attended meetings. 1. Are the right people participating? 2. How often do you meet? 3. How well does the cadence match the work? 4. Your PMQ and NPI ratings? 5. Your guess on the PMQ and NPI ratings of others? [5 min; t+35]
  26. None
  27. Effective Meetings as a Gateway building on a foundation of

    better meetings
  28. Asynchronous Collaboration When other processes fail, call in a meeting

    of the General Purpose Humans to save the day! Full of open “How do we address” questions: • designing our processes to be enjoyably asynchronous? • feedback latency and outcome duration challenges? • differences in communication density, fidelity, and checks for understanding? • retaining the reserved time blocks and borrowable cognitive focus from meeting participants that scheduled meetings provide? • balance iterative, concise, and approachable processes with in-depth back-and-forth feedback?
  29. Gradients of Agreement 1. Full endorsement 2. Agree with minor

    contention 3. Support with reservations 4. Abstain 5. More discussion needed 6. Don’t like but will support 7. Serious disagreement 8. Veto Quality (Participatory) Decision Making Confuse silence for assent or agreement to your (project’s) peril. Decision Rules • None • Random • Delegation • Person-in-Charge Decides • Majority Vote • Unanimous agreement See chapters 4, 22, 23 and the rest of Sam Kaner’s Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making & meta-decision making
  30. Active Collaboration & Co-creation as (an essential part of) the

    Work Designed collections of meetings & systems-of-meetings: • Agile • Gamestorming • Design Thinking • Service Design • Facilitation Start with Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray
  31. None
  32. Recap 1. Meetings are good (or bad) as we run

    them. 2. Skill-up and invest in hosting better meetings; improve our experienced culture at the same time! 3. Effective meetings are a solid foundation to collaboratively build fantastic things.
  33. Effective Meetings as a Tool & a Skil Are you

    bought-in to change ours together? Individual Writing Activity Select one meeting from your list to improve. What will you take and apply from this Lunch & Learn to make that meeting more effective? Improve, rinse, and repeat until satisfied. [5 min; t+49]
  34. Primary Resources: • Where the Action Is: The Meetings That

    Make or Break Your Organization by J. Elise Keith, (c) 2018 • Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making by Sam Kaner, Third Edition, (c) 2014 Starting with Collaboration as the Work: • Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray Secondary Resources: • Surprising Science of Meetings by Steven G. Rogelberg • Meeting Design by Kevin M. Hoffman • Death by Meeting by Patrick M. Lencioni Collaboration as the Work: • This Is Service Design Doing: Applying Service Design Thinking in the Real World by Marc Stickdorn et al • The Design Thinking Playbook: Mindful Digital Transformation of Teams, Products, Services, Businesses and Ecosystems by Michael Lewrick et al End of Message: Q&A time