Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0187, January 18, 2005| 7,000 Subscribers..

Dear friends,

This week's article, "Shrink Marathon Staff Meetings," shares a simple model to cut down on those lengthy, boring staff meetings where people drone on for hours about stuff they could share in an email. Share this with your clients and try it out yourself as I'm sure no one is free from these types of meetings for long. Though don't we wish!

Also, please consider joining us for our new Personal Foundation Teleclass starting February 8th. Don't be one of those wonderful group catalysts who is so focused on helping others, that you forget about yourself. We'd love to see you there!

Have a great week!

Steve Davis

This Meeting Sux

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Logistics Skill

Shrink Marathon Staff Meetings
Use this simple model to cut down on those lengthy information sharing sessions.

The Point

Most staff meetings are information sharing or reporting sessions. As a general rule, they are one of the most misused types of meetings and are better used to clarify information already provided. Much of the reporting typically done in information sharing meetings should be done one-on-one or in writing.

Often these meetings are just for manager to check up on staff progress. If reporting is used to spot problems to be dealt with collaboratively by the group, it's better to use subsequent problem-solving sessions and involve a facilitator.

Combination Meetings

Many meetings contain some reporting and some problem solving. This is fine as long as roles and procedures change as you switch from one type to another. Meetings get into trouble when transitions are sloppy. If you think a meeting may switch from reporting to problem solving, make sure a facilitator and recorder are available and everyone agrees to tackle the problem.


A Model for Information Sharing

A simple process for reporting information in meetings follows the metaphor of a medical doctor’s exam.

  • Here’s the problem you’re facing.
  • Under these conditions, here are your options.
  • My recommendation is this.

Facilitate information sharing meetings by first advising participants to prepare any information they have to share in accordance with the above model. If they’d like or need to share more detailed information to bring participants up to speed, ask them to share it prior to the meeting via email or hardcopy early enough to give participants a chance to review it. Then facilitate their sharing following this model to keep it short and succinct. This will help cut down on information overload and demonstrate respect for other team members’ time and energy.


How will you employ the above model to tighten up your own staff meetings or help those burdened by the process?
Please send us your comments.

How to Make Meetings Work, by Michael Doyle

Although at first glance I was skeptical, this book provided great insight into running a meeting that participants will actually enjoy and get something out of. It was not just a repeat of the things I already knew. After reading this book and implementing some of the ideas, people noticed the improvements from clear agendas which stated the purpose, to the approach used during the meeting to make sure we were all aligned and in agreement on what we were to achieve. I highly recommend this book.
--Anonymous Reader.
In the Spotlight

Managing at the speed of change
Facilitating the execution of strategic initiatives

An interview with Daryl Conner, Chairman, Conner Partners and Author of "Managing at the Speed of Change"

An interview with Darryl Conner

Daryl R. Conner is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of change management and a well-known advisor to corporate leaders engaged in executing strategic initiatives. Mr. Conner founded ODR, the predecessor to Conner Partners, in 1974.

For over three decades, he has been a sought-after consultant and speaker, addressing hundreds of companies and thousands of executives in internal corporate forums, at national conferences, and public programs on the subjects of building nimble organizations, managing critical change initiatives, and developing a resilient workforce. As a result of his speaking, consulting, and writing, he has helped people throughout the world to better understand and navigate the challenges of major organizational transitions.

In more than 30 years of practice, Daryl has worked with many of the most successful organizations in the world, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and nonprofit institutions, to help them achieve the full intent of their most urgent and critically important initiatives. His work is built on a strong foundation of research and extensive consulting experience.

Mr. Conner is a dynamic public speaker and the Chairman of Conner Partners, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Listen to this one-hour interview with Daryl Conner and learn about facilitating the execution of strategic initiatives.

In this interview we discuss the following questions:

bullet What is Strategic Execution, and how does it differ from traditional change management?

bullet What skills and mindset are critical for facilitating strategic execution?

bullet What are the biggest obstacles you face in helping organizations execute strategic initiatives?

bullet How have you facilitated overcoming those obstacles?

bullet How do you deal with resistors to the Strategic Execution?

bullet How do you deal with an executive team that gets cold feet and wants to shift back to old ways?

bullet What percentage of your approach is prescriptive - and what percentage is facilitative?

bullet How do you manage yourself to stay facilitative when you want to be prescriptive?

bullet How do you recover after making a mistake with a client?

Click here for the MP3 Recording and Notes: $17.95

2 Sign up for this interview and we'll email you the link to the MP3 recording of the seminar to listen to at your leisure

1 You'll also receive access to written notes summarizing the highlights of the class for future reference.

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