meetingWe all love meetings right?  Er, that’ll be a no then.

According to a Barco survey in 2013, more than 60% of all meetings we go to don’t have a defined agenda, and even more incredibly – more than 50% don’t have the right people attending!

Ask a manager their greatest challenge and you tend to hear different things.  Ask them what gets in their way and there is almost unanimous agreement on time: Specifically, having too much time wasted in meetings.

It has become perfectly acceptable to have a whole day of meetings and never question the value gained or even worse, the cost of that time.  Based on our conversations with clients, global research on meeting inefficiency and experience using various best practices, we have found that decisions can be made in a fraction of the time and meetings can be extremely effective.

One of the great ways of doing this is by using Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats, you can find out more by following me.

It’s hard to train an approach unless you have seen it in practice.  We so we highly recommend you pull in an expert, naturally we can help but there are plenty of alternative providers you could choose.

Totem Gummi Bears

Isn’t this just common sense?  Why do we need training?

The simple answer is yes, this is common sense.  That doesn’t mean though that we don’t need reminding how to put common sense into practice.

Over the years of using these techniques, we have found two key themes emerging about managers’ experience of learning meeting efficiency approaches.

Firstly, many people have been taught the principles in theory.  For example, many people have read De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats or have been trained to write better agenda items and clear minutes.  We find that hearing or reading about such things tends to switch people off – they cannot see it working and therefore doubt the effectiveness of the approach.

This is why we always combine the training workshop with a live meeting to demonstrate the techniques and the impact they have.

Secondly, just because something is common sense, it doesn’t mean we’re already doing it.  Seeing the approach work in your context and learning how you can apply it simply as a team or business enables you to move past what makes sense as a concept to real practical benefit.  We find that when clients tell us these approaches don’t work, it is simply because they have not seen it executed well and with benefit.

This is why we recommend that we stay with you after the training – to coach and develop your facilitators after their training and ensure they are gaining maximum benefit from the approach.