What A Great Meeting!

People meet for all sorts of reasons.greatmtg Organizations bring people together to accomplish all sorts of outcomes. But, not all of those meetings would be dubbed productive nor would all the participants proclaim, “Wow! What a great meeting.” In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite.

Great meetings take work. The mistake most of us make is we assume we can just ‘wing it’. Not so. The more seemingly effortless, easy and natural the meeting; the more likely a good deal of preparation happened beforehand to achieve that. Continue reading “What A Great Meeting!”

Where Do We Want To Be?

Articulating A Bold Consensus Vision of the Desired Future

vision.path2As often attributed to Cat and Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel, “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

The visioning phase of strategic planning is about becoming crystal clear on your destination – the vivid images of what you’ll see when you get there. This creative, aspirational, and visionary stage is usually the one that your participants are looking forward to. Continue reading “Where Do We Want To Be?”

Compelling Focus Question

You’ve got a complex workshop or longer group session coming up that you’ve been asked to facilitate. Compared to short, straightforward meetings, your success as a facilitator requires that you devote much more time scoping and design before participants ever walk into the room.

A compelling Focus Question as part of the meeting invitation will bring the attention of the group to the topic, subject or work, and invite creative responses. You may find it helpful to think through the Focus Question with ANSWER:

A – What is the aim of the work, or overall purpose?
N – What is the name or subject, to be discussed?
S – Who cares about this purpose and subject, i.e., who has a stake in this?
W – Who will be participating, and are they the right people for the work?
E – What experience do you want participants to have during/after the session?
R – What relevant factors and constraints are important?


Just starting out? These courses will enhance your facilitation confidence and empower you with solid foundational skills: The Confident Facilitator; The Skillful Facilitator.

Mission and Values

Strategic Planning often begins with hindsight looking to the past to discover what your organization, business or group historically set out to achieve in its noblest purpose. The foundation of who you are today rests on the journey you have taken so far. Take time to harvest stories that reveal the very best of who you are – therein lies your purpose, core mission and guiding values.

In this first phase of Strategic Planning, several sub-questions are addressed, two of which management guru Peter Drucker has flagged as the most important questions to ask your organization: Continue reading “Mission and Values”

Do We Need to Meet?

Ever see or hear this type of exchange at the water cooler?  The sad truth is that if meetings have a bad name, it is often because there isn’t a good reason for one.


As a meeting convener, your first task is to explore if the desired outcomes could be achieved through a more effective avenue.

For information-sharing meetings, here are nine effective meeting tips you might want to consider: Continue reading “Do We Need to Meet?”