An unusual meeting: the outcomes

In the previous post I explained how I structured a meeting about how to improve our team meetings. This time I focus on the unexpected outcomes that the ‘Stop, start and continue’ exercise highlighted.

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Standing next to the flipchart I facilitate the discussion around interesting issues that the exercise raised. I decided to tackle first all the red areas and then move to the orange and green one.

On our flipchart there was a quite evident red area that covered one of the most frequent issue connected with meetings: duration. Most felt the meetings were currently too long and it was agreed to aim for an hour, unless critical items need to be discussed.

Another red area was concentrated around the reason for the meetings. Most asked for a clearer purpose and we agreed to use the meeting to discuss specific issues and receive information about topics discussed at the LSS Senior Management Team meeting. All felt that discussion time was an important part of a meeting and should be encouraged more.

The area of the agenda items was populated by a mixture of colours. We decided to save time on the updates from staff members and to circulate them ahead of the meeting while spending more time in the meeting for questions. Standing agenda items will be:

  • Chair’s communication (to include SMT updates)
  • Matters arising from previous meeting
  • Questions on updates from individual team members (circulated before the meeting)
  • Any other business

Moving to the orange area we agreed that current monthly frequency was felt to be right as well as the fact that actions should be assigned and followed up.

We recognised the importance of spending more time on the preparation of the meeting, for instance we will circulate suggested agenda items 2 weeks ahead for discussion. The chairperson will make sure that communications and documents are delivered and prepared consistently.

In the green area colleagues suggested to invite external guests and rotate the chairperson.

Overall I felt satisfied by the outcomes and the opportunity to share openly concerns and ideas. I am sure that our team is now stronger and more united than before. This was one of those rare opportunities to truly make a difference and we made it!