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MQ Meeting Tip: Rich Meeting Summaries

MQ Meeting Tip - LinkedIn Post 30.3.2020

Virtual meetings from remote home offices

At no other time has there been such an at home workforce in New Zealand.  

Whilst this past week has been spent getting technically set up at home, this also will have included online communications and meetings forums, software and apps alongside our traditional mobile phones and email communications.

As we assimilate to being and working at home with our families 24/7 we will all be going through a range of emotions too.  Forced change is exceptionally difficult for all of us in one way or another. 

Over the coming working weeks keeping people up-to-date and maintaining the momentum of work will be challenging.

Never before has the purpose and investment in meetings been so relevant.

Never before has the group memory of meeting attendees been so important in the online space where relying on virtual as opposed to face-to-face cues and observations arguably limiting a full meeting experience.  

Difficult because not only are meetings online we are also dealing with change and our emotions which means that our attention is likely to be in distraction mode.

Thinking about the group memory of our teams during this time will help in the ways we are keeping everyone up-to-date and across current and future workloads and outcomes.  One way of doing this is through a Rich Meeting Summary (RMS) at the beginning of meetings. 

Rich meeting summaries - best practice for efficient meetings

Rich Meeting Summaries (RMSs) are a knowledge practice to prompt memory, increase shared mental modes, deepen group memory and reinforce the meeting purpose.  

RMSs are a catalyst for a cycle of knowledge building through knowledge integration and knowledge generation. Meaning doing a brief team intervention at the beginning of meetings checks in as to what has been achieved and realised (knowledge integration) and what has been become known/learnt (knowledge generation).  

Steps to implement a RMS in as little as 5 minutes:

  1. Implement a RMS at the beginning of every meeting.

  2. Allocate 5 minutes to the RMS

  3. Visually share online the previous meeting artefacts when mentioned: the minutes, reports, action lists, documents and any screenshots or images from the previous meeting work.

  4. Keep these meeting artefacts available online for quick and easy access should clarification or reference be required throughout the meeting.

We have all been to meetings where it's obvious some people haven't read the circulated reports and information - it feels like they are in a different meeting to the rest of us because someone is asking questions about something already agreed!

RMSs quickly bring meeting participants up-to-speed and onto the same page for the current meeting. 

Displaying documents also demonstrates where documents are filed serves the purpose of reiteration and quick reminders.  

We are all busy, juggling many projects and are often not as well prepared as we need to be.  In fact the Harvard Business Review (Perlow, Hadley & Eun, 2017) stated that executives are spending up to 23 hours per week in meetings!

This RMS best practice intervention very quickly brings people into the current meeting through brief reminders of the previous meeting and work, and reiterates clearly the purpose of this current meeting.  

Time is saved, confusion and misunderstandings are avoided, meeting participants are all on the same page and the meeting is well set-up from the beginning.

The next MQ meeting tips will cover the importance of visually displaying meeting notes in real-time and meeting reflection. 

Take this The Quick Meeting Audit (3 minutes) to see how your meetings stack up on productivity, performance and return of investment.

Go here to find out more about MQ Meeting Intelligence or Dr Mandy Lacy

Stay tune for an interview I am having with BlueSky New Zealand later this week on many other MQ meeting tips especially for working from home.

Wishing you all the best with your meetings.


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