How to Run a Strategic Pivot Meeting with Your Team

May 6, 2020 by Elise Keith in meeting design (7 minute read)

How is your organization going to survive and thrive in the emerging economy?


That's the question on everyone's mind right now.

Later when we look back, it will seem so clear. Our grandchildren will shake their heads and say:

"If I was alive back then, I totally would have...."

And then the smug little darlings will fill in the blank with whatever proves to be so very obvious in hindsight. Whatever that is, it's not so obvious now.

All we have are clues. Historic events that share some of the same patterns. Bits and pieces of evidence that, if we could just summon enough inner Sherlock, we could see a perfectly correct, elementary solution.

We have a fogged-over, dirty window of opportunity. We can't see what's on the other side of this window, and we're racing towards the future at full speed.

We have no choice but to move forward into this uncertainty. We can't wait for the answers, because if we do, we'll miss the opportunity to be a part of creating those answers.

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Topics: meeting design

Tips for Taking In-Person Training and Workshops Online

Apr 7, 2020 by Elise Keith in meeting technology, leadership & facilitation, remote work, meeting design (10 minute read)

If you're a trainer, workshop facilitator, faith-community leader, event planner, or consultant, you convene groups for a living.


You've probably designed your work assuming you'll be in the same room with the group you're serving.

Now, like everyone else, you need to figure out how to deliver your services online.

You're working fast and feeling a lot of pressure to have an answer for your clients now. You also want to keep your existing contracts intact as much as possible. It was hard enough to get these sessions scheduled in the first place, so you really don't want to have that discussion again.

Unfortunately, this desire to keep the transition from in-person to virtual as simple and direct as possible is driving many experts to make some poor choices. They're also missing some big opportunities.

Here are three of the most important mistakes we see experts make when they first redesign in-person events for online delivery, and some tips about what to do instead.

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Topics: meeting technology, leadership & facilitation, remote work, meeting design

Quick Research Project: How often do teams meet? And how often should they meet?

Apr 6, 2020 by Elise Keith in meeting design (4 minute read)

How often should your team meet? We're collecting data from teams around the globe to find out! Skip to the survey to add your answers!

Research Background

This isn't a question researchers can easily answer, because the answer depends on so many factors.

When we've looked at this question in the past, we had to rely on the published advice of business consultants and process experts, most of which was designed for teams meeting as part of their business-as-usual operations.  

In our own research, we've talked with groups that meet just once per year because they must; it's mandated by law. Otherwise they wouldn't bother. We also spoke with one retired general who once had his teams run After Action Review meetings every 30 minutes during an especially intense training drill.

Finally, we know that in times of emergency, the group in charge of a coordinated emergency response will keep their communication channels open all day. Think of the war rooms you see in movies, or mission command, and you'll know what we're talking about.

These observations suggest that when you need to get people working together in a complex, rapidly evolving situation, you should meet a lot. We've recommended daily meetings at a minimum under these circumstances.

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Topics: meeting design

Meeting in Times of Rapid Change and Crisis

Apr 3, 2020 by Elise Keith in meeting design (21 minute read)

On April 1, 2020, we hosted a webinar with principals at the Mission Critical Teams Institute. We explored the communication practices business teams can learn from mission critical teams (firefighters, military, medical, and others who handle emergencies for a living) as we all work to adapt in times of rapid change.

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Topics: meeting design

5 Important Meetings For Distributed Customer Support Teams

Feb 3, 2020 by Mercer Smith-Looper in meeting design (7 minute read)

Introducing Mercer Smith-Looper
Mercer is the Head of Support at Appcues, where she manages an all-remote team of customer support representatives. In this article, Mercer describes the meetings she's found to be most helpful for keeping her team aligned, happy, and productive.
— Team Lucid

Running a remote team can be challenging. It’s easy for remote teammates to lose focus, or to feel ignored and unappreciated. Wouldn’t you if you rarely saw or spoke with the people on your team? 

That's why remote work experts like Lisette Sutherland from Collaboration Superpowers advocate for more intentional communication with remote team members. Remote teams often meet more, not less, than their co-located counterparts.

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Topics: meeting design

How Coda's Meeting Operating System Ensures Every Conversation Has a Home

Dec 16, 2019 by Elise Keith in meeting design (9 minute read)

This blog is full of advice for running a great meeting. Of course, teams don't run just one meeting. Teams run lots and lots of meetings.

Now, if you have oodles of spare time, you can design each and every one of your team's meetings from scratch using the advice you'll find here. No one has those oodles, however, which is why—despite the ready availability of all this super practical how-to goodness–lots of folks just make stuff up.

Other teams find a better way. They design their meetings up front, then codify these designs into a Meeting Operating System that makes it easy for them to run those meetings over and over again.

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Topics: meeting design

The Story Behind Our Meeting Flow Model for Pilot Programs

Dec 9, 2019 by Elise Keith in meeting design, case studies, strategy (12 minute read)

It doesn't matter what kind of team you work on or what you're trying to do - if you can't get that team to all agree and do their part, you fail.

Teamwork is the practice of agreeing on a shared goal and then dividing the work required to achieve that goal amongst the team members. To get that agreement and coordinate all that doing, you've got to communicate.

We're coming up on our 10th anniversary here at Lucid, and over all those years, we've done our fair share of failing. One of our more painful failures came about through a failure to effectively communicate.

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Topics: meeting design, case studies, strategy

How to Create a Useful Meeting Flow Model for Your Team

Dec 3, 2019 by Elise Keith in meeting design (10 minute read)

A Meeting Flow Model is a form of process documentation that highlights the main meetings used to achieve a business result. In the previous article, I introduced the Meeting Flow Model (MFM) concept and described some of the benefits enjoyed by teams that use a defined MFM. Meeting Flow Models are super sweet.

You and your team can get these benefits too, but only after you start using an MFM and then work to refine it for your unique needs.

How do you get a useful Meeting Flow Model for your team?

By doing some Meeting Flow Modeling.

Meeting Flow Modeling is a multi-step process that takes teams several days–and often longer–to complete. In our Quickstart program, we walk teams through this process over the course of several weeks. I'm sharing this in case you think the process below looks a little complicated at first glance. Please keep in mind that this isn't something you're going to knock out in an afternoon.

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Topics: meeting design

Why Meeting Flow Models are the Key to Unlocking Your Team's Meeting Success

Dec 1, 2019 by Elise Keith in meeting design (14 minute read)

For every significant goal your company needs to achieve, your team meets. In most companies, these meetings get very little forethought. They're just part of what happens as you do the work.

In other companies, teams plan out the meetings they'll use to achieve their goals. They design each meeting, just like they design the forms they use for capturing data and the reports they'll use to measure progress.

This meeting design work is a critical but often neglected aspect of successful business process design.

Here at Lucid, we call the design of a series of meetings related to a specific business process Meeting Flow Modeling. If you've ever heard me talk about the three parts of an effective Meeting Operating System, you may recognize this term.

Meeting Flow Model
A Meeting Flow Model is a form of process documentation that highlights the main meetings used to achieve a business result.

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Topics: meeting design

How To Establish an Effective Decision-Making Process for Your Team in 5 Simple Steps

Sep 16, 2019 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design, strategy (24 minute read)

Many teams lack a clear process for making decisions. Others create decision-making processes that are plenty clear, but take forever. Most employ a confused mix, running some decisions through an agonizing gauntlet of analysis but leaving others up to the leader-of-the-day's whims.

These teams waste money and time. They also undermine the group's confidence and trust.

Who wants to work on a team where nothing gets done, because no one ever makes a decision without first checking and re-analyzing 97,000 times? Not me. Not you, I'm guessing.

None of us wants to work with a leader who makes arbitrary decisions based on secret criteria, either. While executive mandate sounds powerful, in reality it means that the leader couldn't get anyone else to back that decision with them, so they chose to bully it into being instead.

What works? And if your team doesn't have great decision making habits, how do you get started?

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design, strategy