Basics Still Matter

Rae Levine, a longtime colleague and friend, with whom I taught meeting management once looked at me in faux disbelief and asked, “Is there anyone left on the planet who does not know how to define desired outcomes for a meeting and build an effective agenda to achieve them?” We both cracked up. It seemed we had been teaching this to multitudes for years. I still teach both because there are many who either don’t … Read more…

Invisible Infrastructures in our Interactions

“Infrastructure” usually refers to the physical components—structures, systems, and facilities—needed to operate an enterprise or sustain a society, for example, buildings, bridges, roads, water supply, sewers and electrical grids. Interactions—or meetings—need their own infrastructure to operate successfully. Some of the components for interactions are as tangible as buildings and bridges, for example the people and the place you meet or the telecommunication system through which people will interact. Developing the less tangible elements is just … Read more…

Why Are We Meeting?

People’s time and interest are precious, limited resources. Only convene meetings that require interaction and have a clear purpose and specific desired outcomes. I follow three guidelines. First, I won’t go to a meeting unless the convener communicates beforehand what they want to accomplish. Second, if I ignore the first guideline and go to a meeting without knowing the purpose, at the start I ask, “What do you hope to accomplish at this meeting?” Third, … Read more…

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