Meeting design (online)

Element Descriptor

Meetings require thinking about. So often they are held because ‘well, we were due to have a meeting’ But WHY is the meeting happening? Is it to update folks? Is it to discuss a thorny issue? Is it to make a big decision or a set of smaller decisions? How will the important goals be met? If you don’t design well, the loudest voices will speak the most, and the (unmet) emotional needs will distort/destroy the official agenda.

Level descriptors

You can design a basic but functional meeting around a topic/set of topics that will enable the right questions to be surfaced and allow the quieter/less confident to put forward key points using one of the dominant platforms. The meeting has a chance of ending on time, and leaving most folks (but not the usually-dominant) happy that they came.You can design a more detailed (but not unnecessarily so) meeting which will “work” for different sized groups of people who know each other not well/not al all. You make a conscious decision about which platforms will be most useful for achieving this. You use simple and transparent mechanisms to prevent domination, derailing and disruption. The meetings are not always ‘enjoyable’, but this is a social movement we’re doing here, right, not a club?You can design, very quickly, an online meeting or sequence of meetings that will help groups make difficult and consequential decisions, or discuss potentially homicide-inducing questions and come to clear and thought-through conclusions/decisions/positions, in the face of deliberate and unconscious resistance and dodgy internet connections. And finish on time.The UN has you on speed dial, because your meetings – which use tools you have invented, honed, recombinated – are The Shit. They are almost disruption proof (but never misunderestimate a talented disruptor) and a joy to facilitate because they “work.” You regularly innovate, not for the sake of innovation, but in order to not be complacent , and to create new ways that people can meet to achieve things.

Element Overview Essay

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