Making Meetings Work: Designing to energize not bore

One of the things I’ve worked with several collective impact efforts to improve is meetings. If you are trying to stimulate inclusion, collaboration, action, and accountability, design meetings to achieve that. Doing so can help meetings accelerate results rather than linger in boredom.

This essay shares 5 lessons with links to appendices with sample tools:

  1. Clarity about roles and expectations of members;
  2. Attention to room design, composition of the group, and seating;
  3. More effective facilitation;
  4. More effective meeting design: (a) clear purpose and results for each meeting; (b) curate what participants need to know, not what staff/chairs want participants to know; (c) engage the full brain power – perspectives, expertise, experience – of the room; (d) Manage time effectively and efficiently; and (e) ensure commitments are fulfilled and people are held and hold each other accountable;
  5. A clear process to prepare, debrief, evaluate, and follow up on each meeting.