Organizational Developmental Consultant

Why are so many people in meetings where nothing gets done?

August 27, 2015

Too many executives and managers complain about being stuck in back-to-back meetings all day with no time to ‘get work done.’ This is especially true during organizational transition, where roles and decision-making authority are unclear, and organizational discipline is low.

Here are a few tips to use meetings effectively and free up time for getting work done.

Appoint an owner for each meeting: 

This person is accountable for inviting the right people and setting an agenda that is worthy of participants’ time.

Be clear about the purpose and expected outcomes of every meeting:

If the only purpose of the Continue reading

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New research hints at ways to make meetings more effective

April 27, 2015

The April 4th edition of the Economist shared valuable new research on the pitfalls of decision making in meetings and how to avoid or diminish them.  The article is below and practical tips are highlighted.

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WORKING life often seems like an endless sequence of tiresome meetings. Catch-ups, kick-offs and reviews litter the calendars of most professionals. Effectiveness around the conference table can determine success in almost every career. Chief executives spend a third of their time in pow-wows of one sort or another, by one estimate. Monetary policy is usually set by committee; juries deliberate behind closed doors Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #4 Written Questions

March 29, 2015

“In addition to meeting together, sometimes our group meets by phone or across locations and even via E-mail. Is there a meeting evaluation technique that I can use both inside and outside a face-to-face meeting?”

#4 Written Questions

What are Written Questions?

the Written Questions technique gathers written feedback on your meeting’s effectiveness from each individual in the meeting. The technique requires each participant to complete a meeting evaluation questionnaire that has been prepared in advance.

Written Questions, like the other meeting evaluation techniques described in this blog, does more than simply analyze and measure the effectiveness of your meetings. Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #3 Team Effectiveness Chart

March 24, 2015

“My team is very exacting and likes to use quantitative ratings. Is there a meeting evaluation technique I can use that satisfies this criterion?”

#3 Team Effectiveness Chart

What is a Team Effectiveness Chart?

A Team Effectiveness Chart visually and quantifiably measures specific aspects of your meeting, such as level of open communication, satisfaction with results accomplished, how well the group honors the ideas of others, or other components of the meeting. The resulting measurements are charted on grids with numerical rankings.

A Team Effectiveness Chart serves as a visual aid to display quantified group ratings. This chart can Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #2 Once Around the Table

March 16, 2015

“I wish I knew what participants are thinking as we close the meeting. I’d like to hear not just about the meeting itself and the decisions we’ve taken but also their general thoughts. What can you suggest?”

#2  Once Around the Table

What is Once Around the Table?

Once Around the Table is a simple and powerful technique. It provides participants the opportunity to first reflect and then communicate their thoughts as the meeting comes to a close. This technique usually creates a good sense of closure and completeness to the session. But don’t use it if you Continue reading

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Four Techniques to Evaluate Meeting Effectiveness: #1 What Went Well/Opportunities for Improvement

March 1, 2015

As with any product or service, meetings need feedback from their customers (in this case participants) in order to continually increase their effectiveness. I plan to share four techniques that give meeting facilitators specific processes to obtain accurate information about the effectiveness of their meetings.  These technique alternatives ask for different types of information in different ways, but all provide the meeting facilitator with the data necessary to accurately measure and consistently improve the quality of his or her meetings.

These four techniques include:

  1. What Went Well/Opportunities for Improvement
  2. Once Around the Table
  3. Team Effectiveness Chart
  4. Written Questions

Today, Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #10 Project Plans

January 10, 2015

“We seem to have a difficult time moving from large, complex goals into detailed action plans. Is there a technique that can help us better organize our efforts in this type of situation?”

#10: Project Plans

What are Project Plans?

The Project Plans technique helps you effectively prepare a complex action plan. After an organization or group has agreed upon and approved a goal, the next step is to create an action plan for achieving that goal. If the goal is large and complicated, the resulting action plan will have several levels and categories of activity.

A Project Continue reading

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Here’s a gift idea to help colleagues, friends and family stop bad meetings

December 2, 2014

How many people on your gift list hate meetings or run them so poorly that they make others hate them?  You can help colleagues, friends and family stop bad meetings this holiday season by giving them Mission Critical Meetings: 81 Practical Facilitation Techniques. 

This book will show your colleagues and loved ones how to plan and facilitate meetings that participants will look forward to. Whether your gift is an act of thoughtful generosity, or a big hint to your boss, each reader will learn how to:

  • improve meeting productivity
  • boost creativity and teamwork
  • effectively gather information Continue reading
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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #1 Chart Actions

October 30, 2014

Meetings are more powerful and effective with an implementation, next steps, or action component. But while many groups agree on where they want to go and what they need to do, few plan how to get there. This often results in conflict, confusion and diminished effectiveness. Gaining agreement on how these group decisions will be carried out strongly increases the likelihood of success.

The 15 Techniques for Implementing Decisions demonstrate how to efficiently move a meeting group toward action. These techniques ensure agreement on actions, clarify roles and responsibilities, and formulate plans for review and follow-up.

Techniques include:

  1. Chart Actions Continue reading
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Ten Techniques to Make Decisions: #10 Business Case

October 3, 2014

“I’ve been having trouble getting approval for important changes to the way we do business. I can’t seem to get the leadership team on the same page. What can I do?”

#10 Business Case

What is a Business Case?

A Business Case describes the goal, costs and benefits of making a change with the purpose of influencing decision makers to approve the change. Although Business Cases are usually expressed in financial terms and written with the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in mind, a strong business case is one that addresses not only the financial rationale for a change, Continue reading

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