Proven Step-by-Step Recipes for Hiring, Developing, and Retaining Great People

Sep 16, 2021 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (13 minute read)

Right now, many teams are dealing with massive turnover. Reports on the "Turnover Tsunami" and "The Great Resignation" reveal staggering volatility across industries and countries. Have you driven past the restaurants in your area recently? If so, you've seen the desperate billboards advertising hiring bonuses, increased wages, and pleading with customers to forgive their limited services.

It's not just the restaurants, as seen in this text message.

Why is this happening? Lots of reasons.

According to Gallup, it may have nothing to do with the organization, the manager, or the team; this is part of what happens when major events force people to re-evaluate their life choices. Normally, major events like graduations, marriages, births, and deaths are infrequent and sprinkled randomly across the workforce. During these last 18 months, every single person experienced a major life event all at once. Everyone is re-evaluating their life choices, and a lot of them are deciding it's time for a change.

In short, it may not be about you right now.

Of course, if your whole team just quit, it might be entirely about you. Your company might be a terrible place to work. You might be an awful manager. Gallup also says that the Great Resignation is made worse by a pervasive Great Discontent.

Whatever the reason, labor shortages are making it hard to get work done.

The cascading failures are unraveling the supply chain. Whole teams are walking away from complicated systems, leaving their replacements with no one to tell them how it all works. This makes the new jobs especially difficult because customers haven't relaxed their expectations. Kindness, unfortunately, is not as contagious as Covid-19.

While many are leaving their jobs, it's likely that boredom, loneliness, or finances will drive them into new jobs soon.

What does this mean for employers and people leaders?

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

Leading Successful All-Hands Meetings: Avoid Common Mistakes and Advance Your Mission

Jul 22, 2021 by Elise Keith in meeting design (18 minute read)

Most organizations host regular meetings involving everyone on their teams.
These meetings go by many names: all-hands, all-staff, all teams, town halls, business update meetings, Teatime, TGIF, and more. This form of meeting, where you gather everyone in your tribe at the same time, is thousands of years old and practiced by every kind of group.  Unfortunately, none of these names provide much guidance about how to make these meetings worthwhile.

Like every meeting, the key to a great all-hands meeting is to clearly define the purpose and intended outcomes in advance. Why do you host these meetings? What should be different afterward as a result?

"All Hands" just describes the attendee list.

I've been asked how to improve all-hands meetings by several clients over the years. In this article, I've pulled together all those separate bits of advice in one place.

Read on to learn:

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Topics: meeting design

5 Rules for Leading Excellent Meetings with Your Team Every Day

Jan 25, 2021 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (8 minute read)

Successful businesses do the things that others know they should do …. but generally don’t.

~ Ari Weinzwig's 7th Natural Law of Business

So let's talk about those things you need to do to run great everyday business meetings with your teams. And yes, I'm going to share some guidelines you may already know.

Hopefully, you'll be inspired to follow them.

It's worth the effort. The leaders we've met who follow these "rules" enjoy more productivity, more loyalty, more engagement, better decision making, and less BS drama between team members than everyone else. And frankly, none of this is actually that hard to do.

Here are five rules for team meetings that I share with my business clients, and that I wish someone had taught me when I started my business.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

Hindsight is 2020: How to Run a Year-in-Review Team Retrospective

Dec 30, 2020 by Enrico Teotti in meeting design, guest post (12 minute read)

What happened? So what does that mean? Now what should we do going forward? 

In a retrospective meeting, you and your team work to answer these three questions together. When you’re reviewing a short event that just happened, your retrospective meeting might be very short as you all simply work to answer these questions directly. 

When you’re looking at something as long as a year or something involving lots of complex interrelated parts, it doesn’t work to just ask “So, what happened in 2020?” That’s more likely to encourage day drinking than useful insights. 

For something as 2020 as 2020, you’ll need to put a bit more structure in place if you want a useful result.

Introducing Enrico Teotti

That’s why we're thrilled to introduce you all to Enrico Teotti. Enrico hosts the This is Retrospective Facilitation podcast and is an active leader in the agile facilitation and coaching community.

As his holiday gift to us all, Enrico put together a meeting template we can use to try and make some useful sense out of 2020 with our teams. Check it out!

~ Team Lucid

Running an End-of-Year Retrospective

How was your year?

In this short post I'll describe one way to run an annual retrospective so you and your group can reflect on what happened this past year, discuss what you make of it, and begin to decide what the next wise actions to take next year might be.

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Topics: meeting design, guest post

How to Find the Most Productive Meeting Schedule for a Team Like Yours

Aug 4, 2020 by Elise Keith in leadership & facilitation, meeting design (12 minute read)

Too much time wasted in unproductive meetings. This remains a top contender on the list of workplace complaints, as it has been for at least 700 years.


Some folks wrestling with this complaint assume that the solution is to simply reduce the amount of time spent in meetings, ideally through the elimination of as many meetings as possible. This is a tidy, easily measured approach, which can yield a quick claim to victory.

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Topics: leadership & facilitation, meeting design

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 (11 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

Survey Results: How often do teams meet during a crisis? (Updated July 2020)

Apr 6, 2020 by Elise Keith in meeting design (5 minute read)

How often should your team meet, and how has that changed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic/economic upheaval? We collected data from teams around the globe to find out! 

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 (22 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, guest post (8 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, guest post