How Remote Meetings Can be More Productive For Developers and Designers

Oct 23, 2017 by Rishabh Saxena in remote work, tips & techniques (4 minute read)

As more and more teams are collaborating remotely, having effective meetings between various stakeholders is key to successful projects. Developers and designers are two core stakeholders in this process.

Collaboration between them and the issues surrounding how designers share designs with developers are much talked about and clearly a question that has not been answered in whole.

Today, developer and design teams are spread across time zones to build products for a global audience. In such scenarios, communication is the key.

The people, processes, and tools all contribute to the communication process. Having transparent workflows that make it simple for everyone across the team setup to work with one another creates better communication channels.

When it comes to meetings for developers and designers, issues of scope, feasibility, bugs, navigation, and aesthetics are some of the main talking points. Left unmoderated and unchecked, they can stagnate projects to no end.

Read More...

Topics: remote work, tips & techniques

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

Sep 23, 2017 by Elise Keith in meeting design (139 minute read)

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:

Crushing morale, killing productivity – why do offices put up with meetings?
There’s no proof that organisations benefit from the endless cycle of these charades, but they can’t stop it. We’re addicted.

by Simon Jenkins for the Guardian September 2017

This article is wildly popular. Over 1000 people who hate having their time wasted in meetings paradoxically had extra time they could spend commenting here to express their agreement and outrage.

Read More...

Topics: meeting design

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.

Read More...

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!

Read More...

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)

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

Value Stream Mapping for Knowledge Work and Services

Jun 3, 2017 by Dan Prock in meeting design (11 minute read)

Every organization exists to create value. Companies work to create value for customers and stakeholders. Education exists to create value for students and the community. Non-profits create value for members and society at large. Government should create value for the governed.

The creation of value is the point, but we all know that it isn't always where we spend the bulk of our time or energy. Time, complexity, changing regulations and customer requirements all conspire to gum up our processes with activities and delays that do nothing to add value to customers. The problem isn't that people show up to work every day wanting to spend their time on meaningless chores. Yet despite best intentions:

A bad system will beat a good person every time.

W. Edwards Deming

Running a Value Stream Mapping Workshop can help teams find and eliminate those wasteful activities that provide no value to customers nor meaning for employees.

Lean thinking has a 25-year history in manufacturing, where you can find lots of examples for how to create and use value stream maps. These VSMs illustrate raw parts arriving from suppliers, parts fabrication, movement, scheduling and factory assembly lines, packaging, shipping, and distribution channels.

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.

Read More...

Topics: meeting technology

Making Decisions in Meetings (the Missing Guide)

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

Case Study: Collaboration Superpowers Uses Lucid Meetings to Automate Workshop Agendas and Keep Participants Engaged

Apr 14, 2017 by Tricia Harris in case studies (5 minute read)

Lisette Sutherland runs Collaboration Superpowers, a workshop facilitation business, from her remote office in the Netherlands.

Professional facilitators from all over the world license her materials to teach her Work Together Anywhere Workshop, both online and in person.

Lisette Sutherland, Founder of
Collaboration Superpowers

When preparing for the workshop, Lisette spends a few hours setting up each section by creating an agenda, uploading documents, and setting up multiple software platforms for her participants.

However, because she uses Lucid for the online meeting segment, she’s able to leverage a pre-defined meeting template, automating both setup and follow through—saving her a minimum of thirty minutes in preparation time.

Meeting agenda templates also allow new facilitators to get up and running quickly, making her licensing business more scalable.

Over the course of a year, this huge time savings allows her to focus on improving the workshop curriculum and managing high-level business activities.

Read More...

Topics: case studies

Coping with travel restrictions: When meeting face-to-face matters (and what to do when you can’t)

Mar 17, 2017 by Nancy Settle-Murphy in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (14 minute read)

Introducing Nancy Settle-Murphy
It’s my pleasure to welcome renowned virtual collaboration expert
Nancy Settle-Murphy to the blog.

Recently I gave a talk about taking government meetings online, and was asked how to succeed when the meeting was particularly sensitive. I didn’t have time to give the question the answer it deserved, so afterwards, I started looking for better information on this topic. I found Nancy, and knew she had the answer we needed to hear.

Nancy’s been answering this exact question - when you should meet face-to-face, and steps to take when you’re forced to meet online - for many years in her work for companies and organizations of all sizes. I’m thrilled she agreed to revisit her guidelines with us and share them here.

– Elise Keith, Lucid founder

Whenever possible, I recommend in-person meetings.

I know travel can be expensive and time consuming. Sometimes it's worth it.

Successful meetings connect people to the work at hand and to each other. We forge connections more easily with people we can see. While video conferencing gets better all the time, it can’t compete with being there.

Yet despite our best intentions, meeting in person isn’t always possible. Weather, politics, injury, family – everyone has a lot of life to juggle, and meeting travel gets dropped.

Read More...

Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design