Knowledge workers spend three hours a day in meetings. Senior executives spend more. Four out of five of us have brought other work to do during a meeting. One in ten of us admits to daydreaming. Four in ten have fallen asleep. What a waste.
Bringing people together face-to-face is a catalyst for innovation, collegiality, and rewarding conversations. Collaboration has its intrinsic rewards. It is sinful to waste this time together aimlessly or passively listening to presentations.
Over the course of a career, you will attend tens of thousands of meetings. It adds up to years of meetings. They could be great or they could be horrible. The choice is yours.
You can re-jigger your meetings to make them relevant, challenging, and fun by adopting an approach that is revolutionizing secondary school learning.
It’s called Flipping the Meeting. Flipped meetings focus people’s face-to-face time on working with one another to solve problems. You prepare in advance at your own pace with resources framing the business issue. When people convene, they spend their time collaborating to solve a problem. Conversations cross-fertilize ideas and fuel learning. In the flipped meeting, you focus on making the decision before the bell goes off.
Two teachers pioneered the philosophy of flip starting back in 2007. Students read their homework before class and use the classroom for discussion, not presentation. Grades go up, as does retention. Millions of have signed up for flipped instruction through . This is the same philosophy that underlies the Flipped Meeting. Be prepared to be inspired and listen to the founders of the flip:
How to Conduct a Flipped Meeting
Provide the content and purpose beforehand, use face-to-face time for interactive problem-solving. It flippin’ works. Your flipped meetings will be characterized by::
- Faster decisions
- Better allocation of time
- More engagement
- Innovative thinking
- Shorter meetings
Tell your colleagues you want to experiment with a way to save time and improve performance in company meetings. Tell them about Flipped Meetings. Point them to this post. Get folks to agree to experiment for a few rounds. You can do it. It’s not rocket science.
Before the meeting
At least 24 hours in advance, tell participants what problem the meeting is expected to solve. Provide links to relevant documents and reference materials.
Make the problem a specific task, e.g. “create a plan to cut costs 20%” or “design new assessment strategy.” Here’s a .
This simple step of sending background material in advance addresses the most frequent complaint lodged against traditional meetings: We don’t know the purpose of this meeting.
By the way, Amazon has banned PowerPoint as a way to explain the nature of the problem.
During the meeting
Facilitator encourages interaction and progression to solving the problem.
Don’t spend time talking about ideas or initiatives you know you won’t take action on.
- Appoint a recorder.
- Collaboration rules. Perhaps sit in a circle — or stand up!
- Diversity is good. Encourage it.
- Use Twitter as a backchannel for communications.
- Solve the problem before departing.
- Leave as soon as the problem is solved.
- Final 30 seconds: How was this session? Would you recommend it to a colleague?
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Same rules apply wherever you meet someone. People are never that good at assessing risk pertaining to themselves. Do we really ever know anyone, even when meeting in a bar etc. Just do not do anything foolish..not tell people where you are going etc.
What are some of the internet meeting software that one can use?
There are many different types of internet meeting software such as Meeting Burner which does not require any downloads and the service is free for hosting online conferences which include Skpe. Another popular software is Yugma which is also are free service.