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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Managing stakeholders when the stakes are high

April 8, 2015

In this blog I share insights from Clive Mallard of The Independents’ Consultant, who articulates sound advice for consultants or project leaders managing a project involving significant change.

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Let me start with a definition. When I refer to business stakeholders I mean, individuals or teams within the business who will either be impacted by a change being proposed or who will have an influence on the decisions that will be required.

Using a client example, here’s what we did.

1.) Developed a comprehensive stakeholder map.

Firstly I worked with the project leads to identify who 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: #14 Stakeholder Identification and Planning

February 15, 2015

“I know that our strategy is going to make significant changes to the way we work around here. And I know that there will be a lot of resistance. What can I do to ensure that our strategy actually becomes a reality?”

#14: Stakeholder Identification and Planning

What is Stakeholder Identification and Planning?

A stakeholder is anyone who has a stake in the results of your change. In a business situation, stakeholders could include employees, management, unions, customers, suppliers, the board of directors, shareholders, community interest groups and government regulatory authorities.

Shareholder Identification and Planning is the process of Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #13 Roles and Responsibility Charting/RACI

February 7, 2015

“We will need to change some of our existing processes and ways of working with other departments when we implement new technology next month. I’m expecting complete chaos. How can I avoid confusion and bad feelings?”

#13: RACI

What is Roles and Responsibilities Charting/RACI?

RACI is a method to agree and document roles and responsibilities.

RACI stands for:

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Where most other methods document only the person who is accountable for a decision or activity, RACI also documents who will be involved in doing the work, who will be consulted before a decision is taken, and who will be informed after Continue reading

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Fifteen Techniques for Implementing Decisions: #11 Executive Steering Group (ESG)

January 18, 2015

“I got approval for an important change in the way we do business, but now we’re stalled. The people on our project team don’t have the clout to break through the logjams and resolve cross-functional issues. What should I do?

#11: Executive Steering Group (ESG)

What is an Executive Steering Group?

Executive Steering Groups (ESGs) are groups that are called together for purposes of overseeing a specific project or program. Your ESG should represent your major stakeholders, and have the decision making authority to drive the direction of your project. ESGs usually consist of individuals in leadership positions and are Continue reading

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