Are your meetings leadership-ready?
March 7, 2019 in Uncategorized
Our leadership is poorly served by our current approach to meetings and, as the rate of change continues to grow, the consequences of this can be seen in workloads, stress and mental health issues. And the reality is that these will get worse and worse until we learn more effective ways to collaborate. Most of us now recognise how our rapidly changing future requires us to continuously develop and engage the best in our people. The evidence of this can be seen in how our language is changing: The term 'manager' with its connotations of formality and defined remit is in decline. We see it increasingly supplanted by the term 'leader' with its connotations of direction and movement; of creating an environment in which adapting, flexing, caring, creating and collaborating can work together to a shared and evolving purpose. Leadership is change! And the key mechanism the leader has for delivering this change, whether one-to-one or group, locally or at a distance, is through meetings. However our traditional approach to meetings is no longer fit for purpose in this regard. Their forms of presentation and debate are better suited to the era of management where relationships and responsibilities were largely stable. Conversely, leadership needs to deliver agility and requires meetings which generate energy, lift people up, empower them to do their best, and make them feel part of something bigger. They need meetings which utilise multi-channel, multi-sensory means of engaging more of people. Your best leaders may already be doing this to some degree (although there is always room for improvement) but the reality is that too many meetings fall a long way short of what is needed. You can see the consequences of this in: increasing numbers of meetings; packed diaries; increased busy-ness for your most senior people; stress; and sometimes illness. The fact is the combination of a continuously changing work environment and an unchanging meeting environment has created critical inefficiencies in most organisations - much of which is invisible to your reporting systems. However, as the rate of change increases, the need for effective collaboration will grow, and the issue of meeting inefficiency will inevitably come to a head, at least in those organisations which are to survive the transition. The good news is that the changes required to adapt meetings to better support effective leadership are less that you may realise. Many of them are already well known, all are within the public domain, and adopting them can be fun, energising, even releasing for people - leaders and participants alike. Furthermore, it is now possible to gather meeting data almost effortlessly, and this empowers leaders with the means to sustainably improve their own meetings, using approaches which suit their own particular style and requirements, and which build on their strengths. In this way, meetings can be as flexible as the situations they are required to address. In other words, by setting up the right environment, organisations can enable a situation where meeting improvement is a natural, distributed, form of leadership self-development. Inspirometer is all about helping organisations to set up that environment. We provide a wealth of easy to adopt strategies to improve meetings, and enable leaders to adapt their approach at their own speed, step by step creating meeting environments which fulfil their leadership needs. And we provide individual and collective measurement systems so that people can identify which strategies will be most powerful for them, and then track the impact of these strategies and adapt them until they are fully effective. That same measurement system also enables the organisation to see its overall progress on improving meeting effectiveness, and the impact that is having on culture, productivity and its people - equipping it to develop broader strategies and provide input and coaching where it is most needed. Are your meetings leadership ready? There has never been a better time to make them so. For some ideas on how to get started, click here. You can find an expanding version of this article here.