At SHG Advisors, we don’t believe in meetings unless we can guarantee that they are going to be productive and a good use of time for all attendees. There are many key factors to ensuring that you have an effective meeting – and planning for the meeting is the biggest key to success. This includes interviewing expected attendees, circulating the agenda beforehand, asking for feedback (when possible), and setting expectations around what will get accomplished. In addition, it is absolutely critical to balance discipline and flexibility: it’s inevitable that issues will arise that need to be addressed, and yet it’s important to keep the end goal in mind.
An example of our past work:
- An organization experiencing a year of bold transition was struggling to adapt to its annual internal planning process and asked SHG Advisors to facilitate a half-day retreat
- Internal structural changes resulted in new teams that included members who had not previously worked together and were not certain of their roles and responsibilities
- Pre-retreat interviews of key team members revealed confusion about the process, a lack of clarity around roles of new members and concern about how to prioritize their work
- Using every minute of the 3 ½ hours allotted for the planning retreat, we divided the time into a brief review of recent successes and challenges and discussed the planning process moving forward.
- Team members participated in a hands-on exercise that required all of them to move about the room and engage in critical discussions about program priorities for one hour
- Per a post-retreat survey, 100% of attendees felt that the objectives of the meeting (i.e., setting priorities for the following year) were met
- A post-meeting survey captured thoughts, ideas and concerns that were not addressed during the planning retreat
- SHG Advisors provided specific recommendations for the organization to consider as next steps