In most organizations, meetings are the heartbeat of the organization. And that is unsurprising. Because most of the decisions are made in meetings. Most of the actual work is originally decided upon in meetings. So we all became meeting tigers. Some of us have more meetings a week than actual productive work. ‘But hey, what can you do about it?’.
Well, a lot! As you may know, prototyping.work is a collaborative platform with practices to help you change the way you work in small steps (prototypes). In the last couple of months, a great number of practices are added to the platform, focussing on improving meetings. This blog post will help you guide through a couple of them.
The practices we’ve selected may feel counterintuitive. They may feel scary or even non-effective. But try them. Design your own prototype with them and test it for yourself.
Try these counterintuitive practices to improve your meetings.
1. Stop meetings for a month
How many meetings did you have last week? How many of them were valuable to you? My guess is, not all of them. Now stop the least valuable meeting for a month, find out what happens!
2. Design Team Roles
What is the purpose of the meeting? What is the purpose of our team, and how does this meeting contribute to that? What is everyone’s role on the table during the meeting? All good questions you can answer during a session to design the team roles.
3. Open up all calendars
Make scheduling a breeze, open up all calendars. It can be an easy step or a really hard one. It definitely makes scheduling a breeze because you immediately see the availability. But it also gives a lot more transparency, in your team, department or organization. But be careful, it might bring some discomfort, discuss why this is an important step.
4. Decide how to decide
There are so many ways to decide. But what is the best way to decide what the topic your team has to decide on? For example: have you thought how collaborative or fast you want to be? Or how hierarchical or transparent? No? Decide how to decide, a great tool you can use right away.
5. Check-in and check-out
The next meeting you attend. Claim the first and the last couple of minutes of that meeting. And ask an open question like “with what feeling are you stepping into this meeting?”. Check this prototype out for a lot more examples to experiment with.
6. Post-mortum analysis
Suppose it’s still hard to find real improvements. Take your time with the team and look back at the meetings. Find the real reason the meetings are not effective, fun or productive.