No One Comes Prepared
Chapter One – “What’s the Problem with Meetings?”
This is another in the series on how LORROS addresses the great suggestions in the book:
Momentum: “Creating Effective, Engaging and Enjoyable Meetings” by Mamie Kanfer Stewart, Tai Tsao
“There is almost nothing more frustrating than starting a meeting you’ve prepared for only to find other participants neglected to do the same.”
With LORROS, you can start the discussions on the agenda as soon as the meeting package is sent out. This accomplishes two things:
first, you don’t have to wait until everyone gets together to start the discussion, which says a ton of precious meeting time, and
second, everyone in the group is copied in the discussion which will (should) encourage them to get involved.
“The alternative approach of going forward with the meeting as if everyone prepared is not always any better. You risk not getting the best thinking from the group. Those who haven’t completed the prework haven’t had a chance to process the information, and they don’t have the full picture. Yet, the conversation must go on, and, while you might accomplish the meeting’s outcome, you likely didn’t end up with the best result.”
Once again, why wait until everyone gets together (and hope they are prepared) before starting the discussion. LORROS moves us from the ‘old school’ of not knowing what anyone else is thinking until everyone is together … to being able to share views and opinions asynchronously prior to getting together … so the actual ‘meeting time’ is much more productive.
“You might be left with no other choice than to cannibalize your meeting time for information sharing, which reduces the time you have for dialogue. This means you either rush through the rest of the agenda or schedule another meeting, neither of which are ideal outcomes.”
Since LORROS facilitates sharing information (and dialogue), the agenda topics that need the most attention (time) automatically get it. With LORROS the chances of having to defer agenda topics are minimized or eliminated completely.
And if you need to defer to another meeting, LORROS allows you to have a completely asynchronous meeting.
“There are a few common offenders who can contribute greatly to the awfulness of any meeting. Some people talk too much. Some rehash old problems and love to throw fuel on the fire, instead of acknowledging when the conversation is over. There are the folks who only repeat what other people have already said, taking credit or simply wasting time. Then there are the constant dissenters, interrupters, and know-it-alls.”
LORROS can’t completely eliminate this problem, but some people do like to hear themselves speak and can go on and on ad nauseam, stealing precious meeting time. LORROS encourages putting your ideas in writing which (for some people) helps them be more focused and concise.
LORROS isn’t a ‘magic bullet’, but it is an attempt to encourage meeting participants to be more engaged before everyone gets together. This can significantly improve the quality of the time that everyone is together, and with more discussion and sharing of ideas, the better the decisions the group makes.