Elise Keith

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

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

Aug 18, 2017 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, strategy (24 minute read)

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Dual Cadence of Leadership Meetings
  3. The Leadership Team Meeting Agenda Templates
  4. The Operational Management Meetings
    Driving Day-to-Day Execution
  5. The Strategic Management Meetings
    Driving the Correct Course of Action
  6. How the Leadership Cadence Meetings Work Together
  7. Next Steps
  8. Additional Resources
Get all of the Guides

1. Introduction

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!)

Jul 29, 2017 by Elise Keith in meeting design (5 minute read)

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)

Jun 11, 2017 by Elise Keith in meeting design (20 minute read)

Update September 2018
This blog post introduced the Meeting Performance Maturity Model (MPMM) for the first time. The latest published version of the MPMM can be found here.

The Definitive Guide to The Meeting Performance Maturity Model


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.

Read More...

Topics: meeting design

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

May 11, 2017 by Elise Keith in meeting technology (3 minute read)

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

The Leader's Guide for Making Decisions in Meetings

Apr 20, 2017 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (56 minute read)

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?

Read More...

Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

Meeting Design: How to Create Standard Agendas for Your Business

Feb 11, 2017 by Elise Keith in meeting design (38 minute read)

Are successful meetings what your company sells?
Is your non-profit’s mission to help others run more effective meetings?

Unless you are a professional facilitator or a meeting software company, the answer is probably “No.”

Do you need the meetings you lead to succeed? To help you win sales of the product you sell, and influence those who can advance your mission?

If you care about business effectiveness, then the answer is “Yes”.

You need meetings to function well, but the meeting itself is a means to an end; not an important product of your business.

To ensure important meetings get results, organizations with a high level of meeting performance maturity rely on a set of standard agendas.

Our Way!

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Topics: meeting design

A New Kind of Icebreaker: Create Meeting Notes Together

Jan 26, 2017 by Elise Keith in tips & techniques (7 minute read)

Angela Monson, RDH, PhD
Department Chair of Dental Hygiene
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Angela, one of our newest customers, called in with a problem.

She’d started using Lucid to organize and run her meetings, and had her team log in too. She felt more organized, and was happy with the automated records she got afterwards, but she wasn’t getting the kind of engagement from the rest of the group she’d hoped for.

“Before Lucid, only one person reluctantly took notes, which did not engage the rest of the team.  I knew the Lucid notes would be more inclusive and accurate with the whole team participating. 

However I also knew the team would not want to participate right away.

I encouraged other people to take notes, but no one did. For those first meetings, it was still me doing all of the typing.”

Angela Monson

It was a problem. While she now had a way to make sure her meetings came with clearly documented results, they weren’t necessarily more enjoyable to attend when everyone else just watched her type.

She needed to get the rest of the group involved.

Read More...

Topics: tips & techniques

The Surprising Link Between Climate Change and Virtual Meetings

Dec 17, 2016 by Elise Keith in meeting design (20 minute read)

In November, I was pleased to be invited to present our advice for running successful virtual meetings to the Government of Alberta as part of their Greening Government Speaker Series.

The series goal is to stimulate interest, discussion and action to help governments reduce their carbon footprint and support a sustainable approach to operation. (Learn more about the series on the MCCAC website.)

While our team cares about climate change deeply and we work to do what we can, it would be more than a stretch to say this is an area we're typically asked to speak on.

So what prompted the invitation?

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Topics: meeting design

How often should you meet? Selecting the right meeting cadence for your team.

Dec 3, 2016 by Elise Keith in meeting design (30 minute read)

What is a meeting cadence and why does it matter?

In our post about why teams meet, I outlined two basic rules:

  1. Meet to maintain momentum.
  2. Meet to change course.

Kickoffs, retrospectives, emergency meetings, planning sessions, workshops, sales, negotiations - these all fall under the definition of “changing course”.

A team’s regularly scheduled meetings should maintain work momentum and strengthen the relationships between team members. The frequency of these regular meetings sets the team’s work cadence.

We use the term cadence here very deliberately. You may find others referring to this pattern of regular meetings as the team’s meeting rhythm.

If the words cadence and rhythm bring to mind pictures of rowers at the oar, you’ve got the right idea.

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Topics: meeting design

Meeting Execution: The Underlying Structure of Meetings that Work

Nov 14, 2016 by Elise Keith in meeting design (22 minute read)

Behind every effort to improve an organization’s meetings, you’ll find a larger initiative focused on increasing productivity and improving culture.

Organizations that run effective meetings as a matter of course do so because it improves the productivity and cohesion of teams as a whole, in a way that individual productivity improvements can’t match.

To maximize the productivity of a meeting, and of meetings in general, it helps to understand exactly what you expect meetings to produce.

Previously, we asserted that meetings should “quickly create shared perspective”.

Let’s unpack that one. What do you get from teams that have a shared perspective?

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Topics: meeting design