Without an agenda, how do we articulate the meeting’s purpose? Without purpose, how do we know why we are assembling? Without any orientation we are left to overlay our purpose and that could be remarkable or recessive.
attentiv published an interesting report on our meeting habits. It may offer a baseline for your enterprise.
In my opinion, experiences that are better in-person include: interviews and hiring, selecting strategy, confirming purpose, finalizing agreements, welcoming new members, reunions, first time adventures, significant milestones, and hearing first person narratives. Experiences I defer to a virtual realm include: policy and procedures, non life altering results, recommendations, directions, registration, compliance, processing, and being managed.
‘Is the honor in being asked or is the honor attending the meeting?’ This is a mantra I use as a guide to determine the importance of a face-to-face interactions. We get a rush when invited to the next meeting. We feel important and want to be heard. How could the organization survive without our unique and wise input? However, a balance exists between being in attendance versus perfecting our remarkable craftsmanship. Sometimes not interrupting the tribe’s work is the wisest decision we can make.
Golfer Bubba Watson recently played a round using one golf club, foregoing the 13 other clubs allowed in his bag during competition. He said the experience helped him develop his skills and also changed the routine. What are ways to break-up the routine of meetings within organization. Here are some ideas:
- Off-site meetings (new location, travel related, even a different room)
- Invite guest speaker
- Meet with another board (partnering organization, similar size different sector, mentoring organization)
- Active experience (river rafting, hike, bowling, scavenger hunt)
- Attend conference
- Hire facilitator
- Webinar or online class
- Group read- read the same book/article/packet in advance
- Generative thinking agenda
- Scenarios from a hat (hat tip to Whose Line is it Anyway)- select random scenarios for brainstorming sessions
- Listening tour
- Online poll (for board, membership, community)
- Show and Tell- bring one idea from another enterprise that may benefit organization/operations
- Speed Networking- one-on-one sessions for board and staff members to get to know each other
- Change seating arrangement (new layout, standing only, bean bags, etc)
- Invite past board members back for update and advice
- Start meeting with a mini-TED Talk from one board/staff member
- Spark- reflect on how organizations best ideas were generated
- Graphic facilitation- illustrate the organization’s current status and future potential graphically