June 16, 2010

Meeting Design: 15 Timeless Strategic Questions

Every day millions of people convene for meetings, strategy sessions, or workshops.  Over time the formats and agendas for these events become stale and need refreshing. 

Here are a dozen timeless strategic questions that can always yield fresh thinking for the design of your next gathering.  

What would make the …

  1. Community more connected?
  2. Conversation more compelling? 
  3. Intention more worthy of investment?
  4. Process/pace more productive? 
  5. Environment more inviting? 
  6. Presentations more powerful? 
  7. Connections more concrete? 
  8. Experience more engaging? 
  9. Usefulness more immediate?
  10. Presenters/panelists more provocative?  
  11. Visuals more valuable? 
  12. Meaning more memorable?  
  13. Output more shareable?
  14. Truth more transparent? 
  15. Learning more actionable?



    2 comments:

    Ellen said...

    Jeffrey -- Thanks for getting us to think strategically about the designs of our meetings and workshops.

    What I expected to see in your list but didn't, especially when it comes to workshops, is what every facilitator wants as an outcome: a learner's ability to apply what they discovered during the session in the real world.


    So... how about:

    "What would make the...

    ...learner most able to perform the session's learning outcomes so he or she can effectively apply them back in their workplace?"

    Otherwise we haven't successfully facilitated a workshop that teaches anybody how to do something they haven't done before.

    And if we haven't, what's the point?

    Jeffrey Cufaude said...

    Thanks Ellen. I share your sentiment. In this post, however, I was merely offering broader principles to guide the design process. Your specific emphasis is embodied for me in spirit in making the connections more concrete, the usefulness more immediate, and the output more shareable, but I'm going to add "the learning more actionable" based on the great perspective you shared.