for the emergence of a commons-based society
As we are moving into the preparation of the partnering meeting of 18 June and the "reconvening the community" meeting of 30 June, it is time that we give some shared attention to meeting design as a commoning practice.
At a recent meeting of the Convergence WG, Yva Alexandrova reminded us of the need to design our meetings in advance and publish a draft of meeting design online, thus let all of us be informed about and add comments to it. Here are some simple guidelines of what we as meeting hosts can do for making group and community meetings effective, efficient, and enjoyable:
A good meeting design has four parts. Developing them helps us developing our strategic thinking.
1. Purpose — the unique reason for calling the meeting, its highest possible contribution to the work and learning of the group, given where it is on its life’s journey
2. Desired results — the tangible and intangible outcomes we want the meeting to produce
3. Flow — aka “agenda,” the actual sequence of stepping stones aimed at generating the desired results of the meeting, with room for the unexpected and emergent results
4. Harvest plan — a clear sense of how new insights, actionable items, and other highlights of the meeting will be documented for both the collective memory of the group, and sharing them with those who could not be present
The purpose and the desired results can serve as a checklist, as we ask ourselves, will a given flow and harvest plan be adequate to meet them?
Thank you George for starting this extremely valuable discussion! I think it is an excellent summary of the basic elements of preparing good meetings. I would like to add one more issue to this and that is timing. Timing is of critical importance for successful meetings which achieve their desired outcomes and open space for growth and development.
1. Planning and communicating meetings well in advance allow for broader participation and better preparation of all participants;
2. Sticking to agreed times of starting and ending meetings allows people to plan their time and contributions effectively.
Yva, you're absolutely right. Timing is critical.
What I wrote in this conversation opener is the basic pattern of meeting design as a conscious commoning practice that we can improve and become ever better at. It outlines the "what", the elements that need to go in the design of every meeting, face-to-face, or audio, or video.
The timing issue is part of the meeting hosting practice that we can also improve and become ever better at, should we choose to become conscious about it as collective practice. It deals with the "how."
For those of us who do aspire to become better hosts of their own development and the evolution of the commons and the quality of its meetings, I seriously recommend to take the one of the Art of Hosting trainings listed on the right side of this page, or at least join the Art of Hosting online community, or at minimum, watch and comment on the videos that I posted here.
If any of that is of interest to you or any other member of our Hosting Team, why not open a new forum of this group about Hosting Meetings, that you can use as your shared learning journal, where you can publish your insights and questions about the how of meeting hosting.