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Archive for the ‘Meetings’ Category

meetings1One, if not the singular most common time complaint by staff of any organization, large or small, is that of incessant, mind-numbing meetings.

Jessica Stillman of BNET has some great recommendation by Seth Godin on managing this beast.

  • Understand that all problems are not the same. So why are your meetings? Does every issue deserve an hour? Why is there a default length?
  • Schedule meetings in increments of five minutes. Require that the meeting organizer have a truly great reason to need more than four increments of realtime face time.
  • Require preparation. Give people things to read or do before the meeting, and if they don’t, kick them out.
  • Remove all the chairs from the conference room.
  • If someone is more than two minutes later than the last person to the meeting, they have to pay a fine of $10 to the coffee fund.
  • Bring an egg timer to the meeting. When it goes off, you’re done. Not your fault, it’s the timer’s.
  • The organizer of the meeting is required to send a short email summary, with action items, to every attendee within ten minutes of the end of the meeting.
  • Create a public space (either a big piece of poster board or a simple online page) that allows attendees to rate meetings and their organizers on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of usefulness.
  • If you’re not adding value to a meeting, leave. You can always read the summary later.

You can find the BNET post: here.

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I’m back!

I’ve just returned from the Academy of Management’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. It was — by far — the best conference that I have ever attended. I participated in lots of great sessions, met incredible people, and gather some new resouces that I will be sharing with you soon.

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The awesome folks at bNet.com, the go-to-place for management advice, recently introduced the power of whiteboarding as a simple strategy tool.

If you are like me, you have had your share and more of PowerPoint presentations. I was at a recent six-day seminar and probably saw at least 15; and I was involved in creating five!

Whiteboarding is a great alternative to the mind-numbing passivity of PowerPoint. It allows you to set the stage (“who are we”), frame the debate (“what do we want to do”), and develop a shared solution (“how are we gonna get there”). All done in a visual, and engaging way.

The following podcast (3:29 sec) by Matthew Barzun, founder of BrickPath, provides tips and tools on using a whiteboard to conduct a great meeting and reach a powerful solution.

Click here: Watch the Witeboard Video: Whiteboarding 101

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We have all been there. You build a great training session based on the expressed needs of your audience. You then circulate the agenda with a sign-up form. Lots of folks sign up. Then —- there are a lot of “no shows.” What happens between the time these folks sign up for the training and the actual day of training?

Here are some suggestions on how to encourage attendance follow-through and how to decrease “no shows.”

  • Use word-of-mouth referrals. Have previous participants who have attended past trainings personally invite their network to attend;
  • Serve lunch;
  • Have a potential participant determine the workshop topics;
  • Advertise heavily through newsletters and emails;
  • Call each participant the week before the event to confirm attendance and then follow-up the day before the training;
  • Overbook registration by 30%.

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