Bob and I have another brainstorm as we continue our quest to remove meetings on our calendars.
“Hey Bob, we did great in eliminating status and informational meetings. Maybe we can teach people we don’t need a meeting when sharing or gathering information. We can do that asynchronously. For example, we can use Slack or video messaging to distribute and collect information. We can link it to Wiki for more details, like what we did last time.”
Bob: “That’s a good idea, Wendy. I don’t think people know how to do things asynchronously properly. BTW, we have a company offsite soon. Didn’t Peter say it’s a picnic theme, and he proposed 3 ideas of fun things to do? So, can we get people’s input on which idea they like best asynchronously?”
Me (Wendy): “Oh yes! And we need to get a decision by next week. How about we do that in Slack?”
Me: “Well, Slack has a poll feature. You can put a bunch of options in, then ask everyone to vote on the option they like. We can also put “other” as an option so people can put their ideas in. Tell people that the poll is only open for 3 days. This way, we can get the votes early, and a decision is made without needing a meeting.”
Bob: “I’m not so sure about the “other” option you mentioned. What if we get some creative ideas that are outside of the budget and it wins the vote?”
Me: “Hmm… good point. Maybe we can tell people the budget. If they don’t know how much something costs, don’t propose it or research it first. That way, they get to learn as well.”
Bob: “Hmm, ok. But what if there are good ideas from the “other” options other than Peter’s or if multiple options get the same number of votes?”
Me: “Then we call a meeting to discuss and decide.”
After brainstorming with Bob on Slack, I send a slack message to Peter, telling him what Bob and I are going to do.
Peter: “Interesting idea. But what if we don’t have enough people responding in 3 days?”
Me: “First, I don’t expect everyone to vote, but I think we should have enough. If we don’t after a day or two, I’ll remind people. Second, if we still don’t have enough votes, I can: 1) Put a placeholder meeting on everyone’s calendars a week from now. Tell people that if we don’t get enough votes, they will have to show up to the meeting. 2) Tell people that this is their time to voice their opinions. If they don’t want to vote, they give up that right, and we’ll choose from the votes that we have. What do you think?”
Peter: “Ok, I’m willing to try. And I like the first option. I think people would be incentivized to voice their opinion if they don’t have to sit in another meeting. I know I would.”
Off they go! How do you think people respond? Come back next time and I’ll tell you how this experiment turns out!
Read the rest of Wendy’s story here:
- Part 1: Do we have to do video calls? Aren’t there better ways to do things?
- Part 2: What meetings can we get rid of? Aren’t there better ways to do things?
- Part 4: Replacing meetings to gain more time on your calendar to be productive
- Part 5: How to recognize different meeting types to increase your productivity?
- Part 6: Evolve your meetings beyond agendas and action items to achieve better outcomes
- Part 7: Facilitate Your Remote Control to Improve Your Meetings and Collaborations
- Part 8: Saying No to FOMO – How to treat meetings with intentionality
- Part 9: Why meeting agenda is passé, and what you can do to improve them
- Part 10: Invest in the art of meeting invitations to have better meetings
- Part 11: Remote Facilitation Magic: Things to do before a meeting to have better meetings
- Part 12: How to easily set the stage for more successful meetings
- Part 13: Want to be a meeting host? Up-level your facilitation skills
- Part 14: Do you want to liberate your meetings from staid agendas?
- Part 15: Want to know how to stand out from the typical meetings? Change the way you end!
- Part 16: Successful meeting cultures: why you don’t want to break the psychological safety barrier
- Part 17: How to recognize the signs of lack of psychological safety in your teams
- Part 18: Want to have better meetings? Start practicing psychological safety
- Part 19: How to CLEARly have psychological safety at meetings