The art of the good meeting

  • Answer the question – do you really, really need to meet? (clue: meetings are expensive)
  • Have a clear objective for the meeting, mapped out in a pre-circulated agenda.
  • Max 4 participants.
  • Choose the right participants – people who are interested, have ideas, and can make decisions.
  • Say your piece then shut-up (i.e. be an active listener).
  • Make sure you stay aligned with the bigger picture / strategic objectives.
  • Enable participants to challenge each other openly and respectfully without emotion. #psychologicalSafety.
  • Stay focused on meeting objectives, and clearly agree next steps – what they are, who is owning them, deadlines, dependencies.
  • Capture key decisions and tasks electronically during the meeting – don’t wait until later to write them up, causing unnecessary delay.
  • Close the meeting when you’ve met your objective.
  • Communicate the outputs from your meeting to the wider team – Work In The Open.
  • Plus delta the meeting at the end – what worked well, what should you do better next time?

Thanks Coco for collaborating on this list with me.

Blame Esko, Ben and Coco / Working In The Open

I’ve had the great pleasure of getting to know Esko, Ben and Coco over the last year or so.  Esko and Ben have rekindled a fire inside me to Work In The Open.  I’ve previously dabbled with blogging, but the words dried up.  Since Esko and Ben fired me up, I’ve been extolling the virtues of blogging to Coco, and she’s only gone and done it.

So it’s only fair that I get back in the saddle.

I’ve been involved in some interesting work lately, so will no doubt find plenty of things to ramble on about.  Another passion that has been rekindled is agile, so I’ll write on that, as well as general observations from my geeky life in projects and generally shaking things up.

I’m looking forward to this.

1 – 1 Coco.  No pressure.

Leadership bootcamp – tools

I’ve completed 2 of 3 days of a leadership bootcamp run by Satori Lab.  This has been a superb course, which has introduced me to, and refreshed my understanding of a great mix of tools and ideas.  I’m cataloguing the tools below for future reference, and will blog on my application of them in future posts.

  • Connected age vs industrial age ways of doing things
  • Ego-system vs Ecosystem
  • Agile – scrum flavour:
    • Product owner, Team, Delivery Manager
    • Rapid prototyping – Reduce the length of time in feedback loops
    • Problem statements
    • User Stories – As a <service user> I need <feature> …. So that I can <reason>.  (E.g. As a user, I need to upload photos so that I can share photos with others.)  Focus on unmet needs and external customers.
    • Epics are the daddy of User Stories e.g. As a person with disabilities, I need to be able to live independently.
  • The Learning Organisation
  • Gov.uk service-manual / GDS design principles
  • Growth mindset
  • Internal locus of control
  • Psychological safety
  • Google rework
  • What is the irreducible core?
  • 5 whys
  • Replace Assumptions With Evidence
  • Replace Fear Of The Unknown With Curiosity
  • Working In Public / Working Out Loud
  • Datavores
  • Avoid the Us And Them mentality.  Say We, not They.
  • 100 questions.
  • Focus on the whole person, not just the narrow skill set defined in their job description / person spec.
  • Organisational values – if there’s a big disconnect between what’s on the wall and reality, staff will disengage.
  • Personal values – unique to each of us.  Useful to know what colleagues’ values are.
  • 4mat / Kolb / adapted.   Why, What, How, What if.
  • The Connected Company, Dave Gray.  The more idiot proof the system, the more people will act like idiots.
  • Innovation drill (MIT)