Elise Keith

Lucid Meetings Co-Founder, based in Portland, OR
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Recent Posts

What Makes a Meeting Worth Attending? (And How to Fix Yours)

January 5, 2018 at 2:38 PM by Elise Keith

When asked what they want most from the meetings they attend,
people ask for clarity.

We asked this question at the start of our most recent meeting survey–

“What do you feel makes a meeting worth attending and a good use of your time?”

–and the replies included 136 detailed answers to this question. Of those, 62% included the descriptors “clear”, “specific”, “defined”, and “concrete”.  “Relevant” was another popular adjective.

On the noun front, “agenda” was neck-and-neck with “outcomes”, as in “clear agenda” and “concrete outcomes”, suggesting that people not only want to know why they’re meeting, they also expect to get something out of the deal.

Leading to the question that drives nearly everything we do:

How can you achieve this clarity in your workplace meetings?

In 2017, we published several in-depth articles about understanding the business function of meetings.

Working with experts from several disciplines, we published comprehensive guides for running specific kinds of meetings. We shared a glossary, a taxonomy, and resources galore. It’s a start at answering this question.

In this vast realm of meeting possibilities, we’ve scratched the surface. It’s a nice, deep, keyed-your-car kind of scratch, but there’s still much more to key into.

Read More...

The Latte and Learn Community of Practice Meeting (Fast, Easy, Useful)

December 14, 2017 at 4:28 PM by Elise Keith in meeting design

Introducing Pilar Orti
The Lucid Meetings team is delighted to welcome our newest template designer, Pilar Orti. We’ve been following Pilar’s work for some time now. She is both a frequent collaborator of Lisette Sutherland’s and the director of Virtual not Distant. While preparing for an interview on Pilar’s podcast, we ran across her blog post about the Latte and Learn and invited her to share this process with the Lucid community. We’re thrilled that she agreed!
— Team Lucid

What does it mean to create a learning culture within your organization? Depending on your group’s size and complexity, a learning focus can take many forms including everything from full-blown certification coursework to the casual exchange of notes in chat. Somewhere in the middle of this range, there is a type of learning that is more focused and intentional than simply sharing notes, but much lighter and easier to pull together than a formalized training session.

The Latte and Learn process falls into this middle range, dedicating just 30 minutes for a team to learn something new from one of their colleagues. Here’s how it works.

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Topics: meeting design

A Periodic Table of Meetings (with Free Download)

October 30, 2017 at 2:34 PM by Elise Keith in behind the scenes, meeting design

In the month since we published a taxonomy of the 16 Types of Business Meetings, we’ve heard from many people who say it’s given them a useful new perspective on how to approach their meetings. We’ve also been asked many times about the chart featured in that post, which has since been shared on social media over a thousand times.

(Admittedly, not as hot as a Beyoncé snapshot, but c’mon! This is a taxonomy of meeting types we’re talking about here.)

The original post is very long and details the process we used to define each type.

Missed the original? If you have an hour, go read it now! Otherwise, here are the high points:

  1. A meeting is not a meeting. If you want to run better meetings, you need to know the best way to run the kind of meetings you need to run. Generic best practices won't cut it.
  2. You can tell that one meeting is different from another based on these characteristics:
    • the intention, or purpose and desired outcomes,
    • the meeting format,
    • and the expected participation profile, or, who normally runs and who normally attends these kind of meetings.
  3. We organized and sorted and grouped and examined every kind of meeting we could find, and narrowed them all down to 16 distinct types of meetings.

Throughout that process, we knew that there were important relationships between different kinds of meetings, and that exploring these relationships added yet another layer of usefulness to the taxonomy. When you understand not just the types, but also the relationships between meeting types, it gets much easier to answer the key question: Is this meeting the meeting we need?

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Topics: behind the scenes, meeting design

The 16 Types of Business Meetings (and Why They Matter)

September 23, 2017 at 4:15 PM by Elise Keith in meeting design

There is SO MUCH advice out there about how to run meetings, and most of it is just useless.

It’s not that the advice is wrong, per se. It’s just not specific enough.

For example, it’s not wrong to tell people they need an agenda with clear outcomes listed for every topic. It just doesn’t apply to a lot of situations. A detailed agenda for the one-on-one with my boss? For the sales demo? For our morning huddle? Yeah, I don’t think so. For the board meeting or the requirements analysis meeting? Absolutely.

Sometimes an organization has a pervasive problem with meetings. People complain that there are too many meetings, nothing gets done, it’s wasted time, it’s all power and politics instead of productivity—and they start to look for solutions. They find lots of generic advice, and they find lots of this kind of drivel:

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Topics: meeting design

The 4 Meeting Agendas that Drive Strategic Execution (Plus Guidebooks for Each)

August 18, 2017 at 10:21 AM by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, strategy

When we started Lucid Meetings, it wasn’t because we were all excited about meetings. It was because meetings are the most powerful tool, but also the most neglected, underdeveloped, and misapplied tool, we can use to create a healthy business.

The meetings aren’t the goal. It’s the well-run business that we're after.

Recently we’ve been exploring the science and theory behind what makes meetings successful. You can read all about the core function of meetings, the underlying structures that make them work, and the science behind effective decision making in meetings on our blog.

Today, we’re putting all that into practice. This post covers the core meetings that drive effective business management.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, strategy

The Lucid Guide to High Performance Meetings (Sneak Peek!)

July 29, 2017 at 9:25 AM by Elise Keith in meeting design

Those who've followed this blog over time know there's a lot of meaty content about meetings here. When it comes to high performance business meetings, we've covered a lot of ground and provided resources now used by thousands of people to help them run better meetings.

It's a lot of useful material, and it's all over the map.

This past year, several people have asked us to wrap all this up in an easy-to-use book format. Something they can browse through and reference more easily. Something that provides a more useful start, middle, and end than our website.

So that's what we're going to do!

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Topics: meeting design

The Meeting Performance Maturity Model (and How to Measure Yours)

June 11, 2017 at 5:09 PM by Elise Keith in meeting design

Learning to run a meeting well is a worthy accomplishment. In successful meetings, teams unite and work takes flight.

When all goes well, that is. Run poorly, meetings are a blight on productivity.

Leading one good meeting matters, but as we all know, meetings are not solitary beasts. Only bad meetings live alone; failed sales calls and botched negotiations are not joined by a second meeting.

The rest of our meetings travel in packs, each connected to and reliant on the success of the meetings that surround them.

Some organizations understand this. They know that the way meetings work has an outsized impact on how the organization works.

Some organizations put this understanding to work, and actively shape the meetings that shape their culture. They know that how they meet largely defines who they are.

We can chart how well an organization manages meetings with a standard performance maturity model.

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Topics: meeting design

Hey, Mom! Gartner says we’re officially Cool!

May 11, 2017 at 2:38 PM by Elise Keith in meeting technology

Recently I was telling my mom about a problem I had at work – about how hard it was to take a process designed for use in large conference rooms by expert facilitators and make it work well for business people running meetings online.

She didn’t say much, so finally I paused. "I don’t know, does that even make sense?" I asked.

"Oh yes," she said. "But it’s just not very interesting."

I love you, Mom.

While the honesty sometimes stings, I know it’s true. Geeking out over how to blend the best ideas from meeting science, theory and practice into a meaningful software platform rarely makes for scintillating conversation.

Which is one of the many reasons we’re all so thrilled to share the news.

Lucid Meetings Named a Cool Vendor by Gartner

The fine analysts at Gartner selected Lucid Meetings as a 2017 Cool Vendor in the Unified Communications category.

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Topics: meeting technology

Making Decisions in Meetings (the Missing Guide)

April 20, 2017 at 11:52 PM by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design

I used to believe that everything was a choice.

Whether I ate healthy food or not: a choice. Whether I obsessed over past slights or whether I forgave and moved on: a choice. I believed every action I took, and every action everyone takes, began with a decision to act.

I believed this choosing applied to organizations too. Do you run decent meetings, or do you ignore the ineptitude and hope it will go away on it’s own? That’s a choice.

Image credit: Alice Donovan Rouse on Unsplash

Yep. That sounded right to me. I’m big on self-responsibility that way.

Lately, my conviction has been shaken. I no longer believe every action follows a choice.

Now I believe instead that every action is a reaction. This goes for actions taken by organizations and those taken by individuals.

Begging the question: a reaction to what?

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

New! Schedule Lucid Meetings Directly In Google Calendar

February 24, 2017 at 12:13 PM by Elise Keith in release announcement

Join a Live Webinar!
Getting Started with Lucid Meetings
Tuesdays at 5PM Eastern / 2PM Pacific
Wednesdays at 1PM Eastern / 10AM Pacific
Click here for details

We’re delighted to report that our long anticipated integration with Google Calendar and Google Chrome is now available in the Google Chrome store.

Anyone with a Google account can install the Chrome extension. This integrates Lucid into your Google universe by adding a quick-drop panel to your Chrome menu, and a new option to add Lucid meetings to the events on your Google calendar.

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Topics: release announcement