How to Lead a Successful Project Retrospective Meeting

April 29, 2016 at 6:48 PM by Elise Keith in meeting design

We do not learn from experience … we learn from reflecting on experience.

John Dewey

These meetings go by many names - postmortems, retrospectives, after-action reviews, wrap-ups, project “success” meetings. Regardless of what you call them, they all have the same goal and follow the same basic pattern. The Project Retrospective dedicates time to reviewing a completed project and learning from both the successes and the failures so the team and organization can improve their processes going forward.

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Topics: meeting design

The Power of Gratitude in Meetings

April 21, 2016 at 4:38 PM by Tom Flynn in leadership & facilitation

We've known Tom Flynn for many years. Over lunch recently, he shared with us this story about a master facilitator he met early in his career who had a powerful influence on shaping the kind of leader Tom is today.

With all the "tips" and "tricks" and "5 easy ways" we see every day about how to improve our meetings, it's easy to lose sight of how important the simple things, like really listening and remembering to say thank you, can be. Tom's story is a beautiful reminder and we're very grateful he's allowing us to share it with you here.

Thank you, Tom, from all of us at Lucid.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation

Accessing the Wisdom of Your Group

April 13, 2016 at 11:06 PM by Paul Axtell in meeting design

Once in a while, a new manager will come to an organization and do something that is both bold and disruptive. First, they will ask the group to set aside their PowerPoint slides and their usual meeting topics for an hour. Next, they will open up the conversation in a simple, elegant and powerful way.

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Topics: meeting design

The Remote Team Meeting Essentials Pack

April 12, 2016 at 2:56 PM by Tricia Harris in remote work

On the TV show The Profit, Marcus Lemonis teaches that “people, process and product” are the three keys to a successful business. As Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, he leads close to 6,000 employees in over 100 cities across the US. I’ll take that as a credible source.

There are numerous processes out there to run a business, manage people, and develop products, yet almost all of them are geared toward in-person communication.

What happens when your team is distributed, and rarely sees each other in person?

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Topics: remote work

Fast and easy: Schedule Recurring Meetings in Lucid

March 30, 2016 at 3:25 AM by Elise Keith in release announcement

Cadence. Pulse. Rhythm. Flow.

Teams that work well together get into a groove. They create agreements about how they’ll communicate, and they meet regularly. Whether it’s a daily huddle, a bi-weekly check-in, or a monthly committee meeting, most groups working together establish a regular, repeating meeting time. The regular meeting is a key tool in achieving the organizational discipline required to perform at a high level.

Lucid Meetings now supports the ability to schedule these repeating meetings using your favorite meeting template, making this the fastest and easiest way to get your team’s regular meetings set up.

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Topics: release announcement

How to Run an Urgent Problem Solving Meeting

March 24, 2016 at 6:17 PM by Elise Keith in meeting design

Everything exploded. You’ve got a mess. Now what?

In one of the first posts on this blog, our friend and former partner wrote about adapting his emergency response training as a SCUBA instructor to the business setting. Chris translated the steps for triaging a physical emergency into a basic meeting agenda. It looked very much like the “Red Light” process John used when he worked a computer manufacturing firm, and like the “All Hands on Deck!” meeting I remembered from my time in client services. Since then, I’ve seen many formats for problem-solving meetings, and the basic pattern holds.

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Topics: meeting design

Getting Work Done in Meetings: Structures for Success

March 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM by Rick Lent in meeting design

Leaders get work done through the conversations they hold. Often those conversations are in meetings—particularly when multiple people need to be in the discussion. In spite of all the criticism of time-wasted in meetings, leaders need meetings to create new insights, build understanding, and make decisions with their teams.

As a leader, you can choose to make your meetings more effective by understanding how to structure them and when to hold them to accomplish real work together. Effective meeting structure is the key.

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Topics: meeting design

The Key to Organizational Discipline

March 4, 2016 at 11:52 AM by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation

Usually when we think of discipline, it’s deeply personal and not that much fun.

One kind of discipline involves punishing others. For example, as a parent, I may discipline my misbehaving child.

Another kind of discipline punishes ourselves. We exercise self-discipline when we turn down dessert, get up earlier than we want to go jogging in the rain, and save for retirement instead of splurging on luxuries.

Yet without the discipline to make a plan and stick to it, we can’t reach our goals. This applies whether the goals are personal or organizational; goals are meaningless if we aren’t taking the action required to achieve them.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation

Survey Results: What Makes Meetings Worth Attending

February 24, 2016 at 2:13 AM by Elise Keith in meeting design

In December, we published A Fresh Look at the Number, Effectiveness, and Cost of Meetings in the U.S., which dug into what the available research could tell us about those things. What we found suggested that people meet more than ever, and for the most part, they find those meetings pretty effective.

Still, questions remained. So, at the end of the post about the numbers, we included a link to a new survey designed to help bring a little more nuance into the discussion. It’s a short survey, and we haven’t exactly been overwhelmed with responses. 67 so far. Still, the responses we do have are starting - just barely - to put some more shape to the picture.

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Topics: meeting design

What You Need to Know About Board Meetings

February 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM by Elise Keith in meeting design

As a young professional, I found The Board intimidating. It really didn’t matter what The Board was a board of - it was always clear that The Board included many Very Important People who made big important decisions.

I think a lot of people feel this way about The Board, and it creates some unique challenges to board work. Boards already operate with more requirements and constraints than other groups, which reinforces this idea that every board must operate as The Board should.

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Topics: meeting design