Graham Plaster

culture + diplomacy + ethics + smart power + technology + humanities + entrepreneurship + philosophy

Re-imagining Meetings

I propose that we re-imagine meetings once again and make one small tweak – let’s make them a lot longer…What I mean is, with a platform like Voxer, one could, in effect, hold time-lapsed (asynchronous) meetings. 

Innovation isn’t just about technology.  It is also about re-imagining human processes.  Perhaps no human process is more mundane and in need of  re-imagining than the business meeting.  We’ve tried to do just that with myriad teleconferencing platforms.  Here’s a great parody of some of the pain points we have felt during conference calls:

 

But with the advent of new group communications platforms like Slack and Voxer, I propose that we re-imagine meetings once again and make one small tweak – let’s make them a lot longer.  What I mean is, with a platform like Voxer, one could, in effect, hold time-lapsed meetings. 

What it might look like:

You could open a board meeting on Monday morning with the agenda posted by the chairman, take comments throughout the day and through Tuesday, then take motions for new initiatives all day Wednesday and call for a vote on Thursday, then make final announcements and task assignments on Friday.  Perhaps the entire meeting would take less than an hour, but would be split up across the white space of the work week instead of needing to be coordinated in the middle of everyone’s busy schedule.

For those already using Voxer, Slack or similar platforms effectively, this is simply an acknowledgement of what we are doing – calling it what it is.  And perhaps I am proposing that we formalize it a little bit more, only where helpful.

I have been suggesting this approach recently to several groups of which I am a part, especially when there is a consistent failure to hold well attended calls or meetings.  The major push back I have heard is that holding a time-lapsed meeting on a platform like Voxer would be too technical for some people.  I have to wonder though whether the real impediment to trying it is the leap of technological innovation, or the leap of process innovation.

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