Flipping Meetings

At a family gathering Buffet and Gates both wrote the same answer to a question “What was most important for their success?”  Focus*. Everyone is uncertain about the near term future. You must focus on what you and your company CAN do to be ready for the Post COVID era.

Get started! Begin by making your meetings more effective using a powerful concept that revolutionized learning in classrooms. Here are a few simple steps that will transform your meetings to keep them interactive and productive.

“These “Flipped” meetings bear fruit as the result of the baseline cognitive thinking that has ALREADY been done before the meeting starts. ”

The idea called  “Flipping the Classroom”, works the same way for your internal meetings. It goes a bit like this, You absorb background information required for your meeting in your safe place (Figure out that sales projection graph, decipher those acronyms, get over the shock and awe of the latest buzz words, etc.) and then meet face to face to evaluate and combine everyone’s ideas. It’s a proven and tested method and will shorten your meetings and produce results.

Here’s a kPoint playlist of related short videos that are publicly available.

These “Flipped” meetings bear fruit as the result of the baseline cognitive thinking that has ALREADY been done before the meeting starts. Give your meeting participants time to study the background material by themselves. They can do it at their own pace, do additional research, have a chance for ideas to germinate.

These are 6 steps to “Flip meetings”; tweak as per taste.

  1. As a rule don’t meet just to inform people. “Get everyone together next week, we need to tell them about the new travel and reimbursement policy”. Don’t.
  2. Have a clear written objective of your meeting and agenda. You will use it when you announce the meeting and when you remind people to come prepared. Often.
  3. Distribute preparatory material. Videos, Powerpoints, documents, links to resources, past minutes. You could make a recording of what you would have presented (in the meeting if you were not flipping it). You could talk over specific thinking points. And get early feedback as participants review and comment your “flipped” meeting prep material.
  4. Have a mechanism to track if your team is reviewing the material. Give them just enough time to absorb it. Too long and it will get pushed to the backburner. Remind participants to be prepared a day before by asking how FAR they have prepped. Not just a reminder. Restate the objective and importance of the meeting.
  5. Have a facilitator for every meeting. The meetings must be interactive especially when online. You “flipping” the meeting will make everyone come prepared too. This is a critical part. You will then have time to get the group to analyse the ideas and suggestions when you are face-to-face. You will get more time to build consensus for a plan of action and settle contentious issues with immediate feedback. Since you will not be focused on presenting, you can be a better facilitator. Here are some tips.
  6. End the meetings with a clear takeaway and next step.

“You “flipping” the meeting will make everyone come prepared too. ”

You now have moved the time spent in a meeting to more valuable thinking by your team, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The issues have been comprehended and studied offline in a manner most comfortable to each individual.

As the pandemic thankfully recedes, the calm tidepools where you can nurture change will soon be awash with the surf of market turmoil. So, flip ‘em now! Don’t waste a good crisis. This  positive change will far outlast this crisis and will put more time and better outcomes in your hands.

Be safe. Stay inside.

* Warren Buffett and Bill Gates talk about focus.

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