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Stuck in a Boring Meeting? 6 Ways to Be Productive

Think of it as an opportunity to catch up on those things you rarely have time for during the day.
Tom Russell's insight:

Fantastic advice, if you've no interest in taking responsibility for making your meeting a more productive experience!

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Efficient Workplaces

Efficient Workplaces | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Biking desk: the answer to falling asleep during meetings and staying active at work. (Biking desk: the answer to falling asleep during meetings and staying active at work.
Tom Russell's insight:

Meet, collaborate and stay fit the same time...or you could just go for a walk together (might be cheaper).

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The Facilitation Partnership

The Facilitation Partnership | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Facilitating great meetings – imagine the opportunities within 3 simple words
Tom Russell's insight:

Fantastic article by my good friend and business partner Ben Robinson. This really gets to the nub of what why great meetings are so key to organisational effectiveness.

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Dilbert comic strip for 04/18/1999 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.

Dilbert comic strip for 04/18/1999 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive. | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animation, mashups and more starring Dilbert, Dogbert, Wally, The Pointy Haired Boss, Alice, Asok, Dogbert's New Ruling Class and more.
Tom Russell's insight:

It's Friday, time to poke some good humoured fun at meetings and facilitators. Enjoy.

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The conference call is one of the most familiar rituals of office life—and one of the most hated.

The conference call is one of the most familiar rituals of office life—and one of the most hated. | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
There are ways to stop people from rambling, multitasking and zoning out and to make the call productive.
Tom Russell's insight:

Conference calls needn't be a game of survival. At The Facilitation Partnership we regularly facilitate remotely with great results. for example, we send out visual template to participants upfront so they know the key questions we will be exploring. With our partners, Inky Thinking, we graphically capture (in real-time) the conversation so all participants can see it emerge, and use the graphic it as a reference tool in the meeting itself. These are just a couple of the techniques we use to foster an enjoyable and productive atmosphere on every call, no matter where participants are in the world.

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Quarterly Meeting Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage

Quarterly Meeting Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Tom Russell's insight:

As we head into March, what are the key conversations you need to have at your next quarterly meeting? Focus on the content, and we will focus on the facilitation. Nail those results and shine!

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Take 30 Seconds to Write Down Key Points After Lectures or Meetings

Take 30 Seconds to Write Down Key Points After Lectures or Meetings | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
We all struggle with memory retention. It's why we take notes and record things we want to experience again. Medium writer Robyn Scott suggests taking 30 seconds after an important meeting to write down the strongest ...
Tom Russell's insight:

Save yourself time and generate more meaning by visually capturing the key points as you go. Don't wait until the end!

 

A simple mind-map can be a powerful way of capturing key content on the go. Create several satellite points for the agenda/lecture elements up front on the paper if that helps. Get yourself a highlighter pen and highlight the key points in the 30 seconds after the meeting, rather than relying on your memory. Ta da!

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Why The Best Midsized Companies Balance Business Meetings With Social ... - Forbes

Why The Best Midsized Companies Balance Business Meetings With Social ... - Forbes | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it

the conditionsForbes
Why The Best Midsized Companies Balance Business Meetings With Social ...
Forbes
That transformation in meeting culture requires good facilitation.

Tom Russell's insight:

Well written and fascinating article. At The Facilitation Partnership we are strong believers in creating the conditions for great conversations. When planning your next meeting, and particularly conferences and larger meetings, remember to consider the "less structured" parts of the meeting too. If these are well thought through they will act in service of your overall meeting aims and outcomes.

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Everybody’s Ready Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage

Everybody’s Ready Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Tom Russell's insight:

Enjoy your weekend everyone. Here's to none of this next week!

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Every Dog Needs A Job - Dangerous Kitchen

Every Dog Needs A Job - Dangerous Kitchen | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
People are just like dogs: we all need a job and will create our own job description if left to our own devices. (Stuck in meetings that go nowhere?
Tom Russell's insight:

A different take on personal agendas. How many times have you been in a meeting where you think everyone is barking?

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Improving your meetings is a waste of time! - Ruben van der Laan

Improving your meetings is a waste of time! - Ruben van der Laan | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Why do you want to improve your meetings? - Well, says the client, I'd love to see people engaging in the topic instead of phasing out. Also the decisions and action lists should really be a list we act upon instead of postponing ...
Tom Russell's insight:

Starting with Why is great advice. At The Facilitation Partnership we always ask this question, paying attention to the wider context and purpose of the meeting within the wider system. We hope no one attends a great meeting out of fear, rather than a desire to be involved in great dialogue that leads to positive outcomes for individuals, teams and the organisation.

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New Haribo Starmix Advert 2014 - YouTube

The new Haribo Starmix Advert featuring some very child-like business people in a boardroom. More info here https://www.haribo.com/enGB Please like us on Fac...
Tom Russell's insight:

Here's a thought for a Monday morning. Imagine what your meetings this week would be like if you ditched the biscuits and served these instead (other sweets are available!).

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Weekly Meeting Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage

Weekly Meeting Cartoon | Savage Chickens - Cartoons on Sticky Notes by Doug Savage | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Tom Russell's insight:

A meeting related chuckle for the end of the week. Enjoy!

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Yes, Walking Meetings Can Actually Be Productive

The results from a recent Stanford study suggest the most productive time to go for a walk.
Tom Russell's insight:

Want to meet? Take a hike!

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Handling Complexity in Decision-Making: Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings

Handling Complexity in Decision-Making:  Avoiding The Bike Rack Effect in Meetings | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it

Why would a $100M power plant zoning approval take 3 minutes and a request to build a $10,000 bike rack for city sidewalks take hours?

 

It's easy to be swept up in the trivial and fun stuff, starving the big issues for the time and consideration they merit.  Cyril Northcote Parkinson, a British historian and operations researcher, penned this extreme example of decision-making in meetings in his book Parkinson's Law. Paraphrasing the Wikipedia entry, the powerplant is so expensive, the sums of money are hard to frame.

 

Related tools & posts by Deb:

      

Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here,via REVELN Tools.

          

Change, Innovators, Creativity and Community, Will it Blend?    

     

Messing up a Change Implementation with Someone Else’s Learning Culture?
Via Deb Nystrom, REVELN
Tom Russell's insight:

I'm sure we can all identify with this scenario. It reminds me of a school football game when everybody is running after the ball regardless of their agreed position on the pitch. Clearly where there is passion there is engagement, so focussing on, and agreeing, clear outcomes is a key starting point if one is going to avoid everyone being kicked in the shins.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, March 24, 2014 12:27 PM

This is a post useful for anyone connected to public sector meetings, or any meeting with complex topics.  I've posted this in change leadership watch for the reasons of asking you, the reader the question, have you ever helped a decision making body avoid the The Abilene Paradox, a classic management film about avoiding mismanaged agreement?

This post also illustrates the power of Parkinson's Law where board members lazily skip over the seemingly impenetrable problem in the meeting, deferring to the team managing the project. There will be implications for years of this city council meeting's decisions, and yet it is decided in three minutes.  It's astounding, assuming we haven't been excluded from a long list of previous meeting discussions.   ~ D

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 24, 2014 11:58 PM

Most humans have no comprehension of $100 million, but understand $10, 000.

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Art of facilitation not as easy as you think

Art of facilitation not as easy as you think | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
The word facilitation comes from facile, French for “easy”. To facilitate is to make easy. And that’s what good facilitators do.
Tom Russell's insight:

A thoughtful insight into facilitation and how easy, or not, this technique can be within a Kenyan cultural context.

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Is It the Death of Break-Out Groups? - Pulse

Is It the Death of Break-Out Groups? - Pulse | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Is It the Death of Break-Out Groups?
Pulse
We get a five-minute warning before we will all have to report. The inky fragrance of markers fills the air. ...
Tom Russell's insight:

The death of breakout groups is not imminent, but what is looming is the risk of using these key techniques without thinking about the whole conversation, and where a breakout group fits within it. If designed and planned in a thoughtful and engaging way, breakout groups can be an incredibly powerful tool, but they are a means to an end.

 

I would agree that break-outs can be used as a lazy way to get people to talk without taxing the facilitator too much. Boo to that. At the Facilitation Partnership we say let's start with Why? If we need breakout groups then great, we'll make sure they are engaging and, above all, productive. Yay to that!

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Community Post: The 10 People In Every Office Meeting

Community Post: The 10 People In Every Office Meeting | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Meetings were invented as a medieval torture device, and the practice is still carried out to this day.
Tom Russell's insight:

Have you met these people in your meeting? Some great stereotypes here, although no advice on how to respond effectively to each. Our favourite is number 8, bless.

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President Lyndon Johnson loved to intimidate people by holding meetings on the toilet—and that's just the beginning

President Lyndon Johnson loved to intimidate people by holding meetings on the toilet—and that's just the beginning | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Click here to read more... (President Lyndon Johnson loved to intimidate people by holding meetings on the toilet! --> http://t.co/OIXl0FDVWW)
Tom Russell's insight:

There's nothing you can do about the call of nature, but you can shape your meetings around it. Leading meetings from the comfort of the loo is unlikely to work for everyone, but it may serve to flush out something interesting (tee hee). Always wash your hands!

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This Is A Perfect Explanation For Why Meetings Are The Worst

This Is A Perfect Explanation For Why Meetings Are The Worst | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
There are the "makers" and the "managers." Maker's hate meetings more because meetings cost them more.
Tom Russell's insight:
It really doesn't need to be like this. Makers and Managers can enjoy productive meetings together. Take time to clarify what everyone needs from the meeting upfront, which will inform your meeting design. Yes, holding the meeting at a time that's beneficial to all is an advantage, but more so is taking a "we" approach to delivering on outcomes together.
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10 Meeting Spaces for Work at Home Professionals, Other than Starbucks | The Brainzooming Group

10 Meeting Spaces for Work at Home Professionals, Other than Starbucks | The Brainzooming Group | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
meeting space for work at home professionals, you know the traditional options are Starbucks, Panera, or some local coffee shop.
Tom Russell's insight:

Useful tips for meeting spaces. Not particularly groundbreaking, but handy nonetheless.

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7 Hand Gestures That Make You Look Like a Real Intellectual | Wired Design | Wired.com

7 Hand Gestures That Make You Look Like a Real Intellectual | Wired Design | Wired.com | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
You've definitely seen these at some point. Maybe it was in a lecture in college. Maybe it was in a TED talk you watched recently.
Tom Russell's insight:

Here's a little fun for a Friday. Maybe you could try these in your meetings today?

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Tweet from @TFPartnership

Tweet from @TFPartnership | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Great #Facilitation enables the long view. Rich #dialogue gets you there. #conversation #meetings #Leadership http://t.co/yMP9ymue33
Tom Russell's insight:

I posted earlier about starting with 'Why?'. Even great leaders can find it difficult to lead a visionary conversation and run a superb meeting at the same time. Strong facilitation will enable the right conversations to take place, in service of the 'Why?' and the long view.

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Want Your Event Technology To Add Real Value? Learn to Facilitate

Want Your Event Technology To Add Real Value? Learn to Facilitate | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
Designing conferences used to be straightforward. Get together a bunch of clever speakers with interesting things to say, arrange into an agenda. Job done. Now we’re angling for audience-led content, collaborative sessions, participative learning, self-categorised networking. This of... Read more
Tom Russell's insight:

If you are an Event Manager here is an interesting blog about the role of technology combined with the value that great facilitation brings.

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Ask These Three Questions at the End of Every Meeting

Ask These Three Questions at the End of Every Meeting | Facilitating Wisdom | Scoop.it
For meetings that actually lead to successful outcomes, it's advisable to ask everyone what they see as their necessary actions. Robert C. Pozen, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, expands on this and says there are three questions you should be asking all the participants:
Tom Russell's insight:

I suggest one more question - 'What could we do to make the next meeting even more productive?'

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