Wednesday 17 October 2012

Meetings By Design - again

I am looking forward to doing the training for online creative meetings offered by Mike Clargo and Meetings By Design: participants' skills next week and leading meetings skills the week after.

Needless to say, both training days are run as online meetings, so I am able to do them from my base in the Lake District, while Mike runs them from London, and the other participants could be anywhere in the world.

I am sure they will be both enjoyable and useful and will post updates here as I go through them.

Monday 8 October 2012

Meeting by Design

I am currently reading Meeting by Design by an old friend, Mike Clargo.

Mike looks at the importance of meetings in organisational life: they take up a huge proportion of management time and are how most of a manager's or leader's work is transacted.  He notes that their effectiveness is rarely rigorously measured, unlike any other key business process.

He also makes an important distinction between single-channel meetings (most typical business meetings) and multi-channel meetings (eg workshop style, with several people contributing at once in various creative ways), and their differing effectiveness in terms of generating real understanding and ownership of issues, provoking creative solutions, and building commitment to action.

From this he constructs his thesis that most meetings would be more effective if the meeting process were better thought through and more emphasis placed on multi-channel approaches.

Into this mix, he adds the web: the potential for online meetings.  The immediate business case for these may be to save travel time and costs, but he believes their real contribution could be to transform our meeting behaviour.  So rather than try to replicate traditional meetings but simply add video-conferencing, he advocates investing time to become adept with the full range of online meeting tools available in (for example) WebEx or MS Live Meeting, to transform online meeting processes - and then to play that back into face-to-face meetings, and transform them too.

This is a fascinating and stimulating read - and Mike clearly has experience of implementing this in real life with his client organisations.

For me the interest also lies in how this could transform the world of learning and development, and re-balance corporate training in ways that might be more conducive to the reflectives, the introverts and so on.

I will think - and possibly experiment - more with this, and may well blog on it further,

In the meantime, I strongly recommend Mike's book. The introduction can be read online, ( and if you are as intrigued as I am, you can follow the links to buy the rest.