Better meeting formats.

Improving the customer experience often means changing the way your organization meets to discuss the customer.

Changing the way you discuss the customer starts with better meeting formats.

The parade, fishbowl and retrospective are 3 meeting formats we implement with clients who are need of new ways to work together.

Meeting format: Parade.

Parade

The parade meeting format can be a direct replacement for the standing or weekly staff meeting. Used to further the connection with the customer experience, we have implemented this format with museums, aquariums, stadiums and universities to encourage spontaneous discussion and contextual understanding.

Overview:

  • meet while walking your facility or campus
  • works best with 6 or fewer people
  • encourages better thinking through movement

Set-up:

  • plan the route ahead of time
  • identify seating locations for stops
  • limit your agenda to discussion-focused items
  • notetaker is optional

Directions:

  1. meet at a central point to discuss agenda
  2. begin the discussion item
  3. let the speaker lead the walking route
  4. once speaker ends, stop and record any notes
  5. repeat steps 2 – 4 per discussion item

This meeting format:

  • helps break the normal routine
  • often results in new ideas due to surroundings
  • should be utilized based upon agenda items
  • can be held during business hours for additional customer interaction
Meeting format: Fishbowl.

Fishbowl

The fishbowl meeting format best for large groups, new projects and sharing a lot of information at once. When starting new projects we often supplement individual interviews with this collaborative group discussion.

Overview:

  • use at the start of large, cross-functional projects
  • large groups with varying teams / departments
  • helps develop group understanding of other perspectives

Set-up:

  • hold in a large room, without a conference table
  • arrange the chairs in a circular (or campfire) set-up
  • have more chairs than you need
  • notetaker is recommended

Directions:

  1. select a moderator
  2. select a topic for discussion
  3. one team sits in the innermost circle
  4. 10 minutes of discussion (just the innermost team)
  5. other teams can ask questions once time expires
  6. 5 minutes of Q&A
  7. repeat steps 3 – 6 with all teams

This meeting format:

  • is great for sharing large amounts of information
  • helps teams to develop empathy
  • quickly identifies potential project challenges
  • produces a lot of notes
Meeting format: Retrospective.

Retrospective

Borrowed from Scrum methodology, the retrospective meeting format is a dedicated opportunity to deliberately review a project, reflect on the results and identify ways to improve.

Overview:

  • use at the conclusion of a campaign, project or event
  • project teams with all members participating
  • don’t combine with other meetings or formats

Set-up:

  • normal room set-up
  • wall / white board space for notes
  • create sections for: start doing, stop doing and continue doing categories
  • designate a moderator and note taker

Directions:

  1. discussion begins with start doing category
  2. team members suggest ideas verbally or via Post-it notes
  3. ideas are written on the whiteboard
  4. 10 minutes of suggestions / discussions
  5. repeat steps 2 – 4 for each category
  6. team members then vote on suggestions per category
  7. top 5 ideas in each category are implemented
  8. remaining ideas are held for the next retrospective

This meeting format:

  • helps teams identify success, challenges and changes
  • provides a specific method for feedback
  • can be used regardless of project size

Three meeting formats to help your team change perspective, encourage discussion and generate actionable feedback.


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