John Windsor

Writer. Thinker. Marketer. App guy. I know too much about meetings...

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Technology That Makes Meetings Effective

Feb 9, 2016 by John Windsor in meeting technology (3 minute read)

Let’s start with a brief history . . .

Dawn of Time: Cavemen gather to plan their hunts. Details are painted on walls of caves. Best practices are non-existent, but the species survives.

1560s: Sir Thomas Smyth begins writing down the accepted practices for meetings in England’s House of Commons. “Parliamentary procedures” are now codified, and best practices become set in stone (or really thick books).

1876: U.S. Army Major Henry M. Robert publishes a book entitled Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies, which is wisely shortened to Robert’s Rules of Order (now in its 11th edition). Robert’s approach follows parliamentary procedures, with some modernization in newer editions.

The past 50 years: A growing collection of books attempt to define a less rigid approach for business meetings, while providing guidance on best practices.

The past 10 years: Thousands of blog posts every year on how to have better meetings — or how to avoid them. There are common themes about best practices, but clearly the message isn’t getting through, because each year brings thousands of new blog posts.

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Topics: meeting technology