Don’t miss this great article on how to improve meetings:
There’s an idea in Dick and Emily Axelrod’s new book, Let’s Stop Meeting Like This: Tools to Save Time and Get More Done (Berrett-Koehler, 2014), that’s sure to raise the eyebrows of managers around the world: Make meeting attendance voluntary—no strings, no reprisals. That’s right. Leave it totally up to the invitees to decide whether it’s worth their while to show up… or not. The Axelrods, a husband-and-wife team specializing in organizational development, wrote the book for executives whose meetings fell into the category of needing improvement. They believe that far too many of the estimated 11 million meetings held daily in the United States are mind-numbing, energy-sapping encounters during which participants are more likely to be motivated to hide from work than to get it done.
“During a workshop we were doing in Scotland, Colin Anderson, the CEO of Denki, a video game company, told us that the meeting principles we were teaching are the same principles that his company uses in designing its games. In order to engage people, both meetings and video games must have a clear and meaningful purpose. There has to be a challenge—kind of a sweet spot beyond your grasp, but not so far away that it’s impossible to reach. There needs to be autonomy; the players must feel like they can influence outcomes. There needs to be an opportunity to learn something. And there needs to be feedback, so you know how well you’re doing.
These five factors—purpose, challenge, autonomy, learning, and feedback—provide a way of thinking about a meeting that goes beyond the agenda and mechanics, like how you set up the room. If you can embed them in your meetings, you should have good ones”.