Design the Meeting Everyone is Eager to Attend – Insights to Element 2: CARE

January 7, 2014

Effective meeting design is a multilayered approach. Leading a great meeting requires planning and intentionality – true. Just showing up with an agenda in hand is a step in the right direction, but ultimately may not insure full engagement and maximum team performance.

Smart meeting designers understand the importance of balancing task and relationship, which includes taking time to focus on what really matters to the human beings who will be attending. Design meetings that work for everyone by   showing what matters through CARE strategies.

Try something new!

From our Designing Effective Meetings: 10 Essential ElementsSM program you will learn and experience ten vital elements fundamental to designing effective meetings.

From Element 2: CAREphotos for blog

The focus of the second element creates a connection that inspires and moves your team into responsible action for greater success.

The essence of CARE is to get connected to what matters for full participation.

Ask yourself these critical questions:

  1. What is important to you about this meeting/event?
  2. What is the potential positive impact for those who may be attending?
  3. How will we create a welcoming environment that invites everyone to engage?

Margaret Wheatley management consultant and thought leader in organizational development says, “People act responsibly when they care.” People on our teams are motivated when we take the time to nurture a sense of caring and create a caring place to meet. When members authentically care about the meeting or event they show up with an open mind,


Design the Meeting Everyone is Eager to Attend – Insights to Element 1: PREPARE

November 26, 2013

Effective meeting design is the artful expression of today’s creative leader. Thoughtful preparation is key to generating the results you want to create within your team, project, department, and organization.Bad_Meeting_square

Reports show that the average worker loses at much as 31 hours a month to unproductive meetings. That’s four work days each month.  Half of all meetings are unnecessary.

The multitasking environment of today often leaves little room for focusing on what’s important in organizing, designing, and leading effective meetings. Meeting leaders are often stymied in the land of overwhelm spinning on the hamster wheel of too many meetings, too little time, too little attention, and too few meaningful results. Futility and frustration permeate the collective response to meetings.

Ultimately inefficient meetings cost organizations billions of dollars each year in otherwise productive employee work time!

Sound familiar?

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can make a difference. Try something new!

From our Designing Effective Meetings: Ten Essential ElementsSM program you will learn and experience ten vital elements fundamental to designing effective meetings.

From Element 1: PREPARE:936211_f496

There’s an old saying that “folks don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan” which relates to the 5P’s for success:  Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. The focus of this first element set you and your team up for success.

The essence of PREPARE is to make ready beforehand for a specific purpose.

Ask yourself these critical questions:

  1. What is at stake for the team/organization?
  2. Is the meeting necessary?
  3. Who should attend and what are their roles/responsibilities

In complex and stressful situations, intention meeting design creates an environment that engages participants for greater impact.

The Divided Brain: What was forgotten

February 16, 2012

In this new RSAnimate, renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our ‘divided brain’ has profoundly altered human behavior, culture and society.

This gives us an insight to what we have forgotten.

Shifting Mindsets: The Choice is Up to YOU!

September 10, 2010

What do you get with “YEH.. BUT”?

A FIXED mindset

…and sense you have some CONTROL (an illusion) in order to protect YOUR IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVE for the sake of LOOKING GOOD and PLAYING IT SAFE to maintain CONTROL (an illusion)….

Unless you’re on a mega roller coaster, HOLDING TIGHT is not usually all that productive.  The more you try to hold on, the more INFLEXIBLE you may become, which could lead to the perception that your perspective is actually RIGID and way too predictable if not limited and LIMITING.

Bottom line, “YEH…BUT” is a FEAR-based perspective which leads to “more of the same” (aka THE STATUS QUO).


An OPEN or GROWTH mindset

…a place of TRUST where DISCOVERY is a core value and we find ourselves asking each other to “Say more about that…” especially in situations where we may totally disagree.  Because of our “YES…AND!” mindset we are natural collaborators who believe there is strength our connection and that together we truly are better!

CREATIVITY abounds as we find it EASY to LET GO and to CHALLENGE each other for the sake of achieving our COLLECTIVE VISION.  Our FLEXIBILITY allows us to create an INCLUSIVE context for working, learning and growing together where everyone feels VALUED and able to CONTRIBUTE their gifts and talents.

NO FEAR is our motto because we have learned to TRUST ourselves and each other as we COLLABORATE  for the greater good.  Bottom line…we are all HAPPIER and way more productive!

The choice is up to you:  “YEH…BUT” or “YES…AND!” – What will it be?

by Jackie Levin

Fundamentals of Innovation: 10 minutes a day can keep the competitors away!

August 4, 2009

Innovation-BYTEDuring times of crisis your organization NEEDS to get more innovative to MAXIMIZE its human capital.  We can see this in the statistics from a prologue in Business week about Fortune 500 companies that have vanished. According to Arie de Geus, author of The Living Company, a “full one-third of the companies listed in the 1970 Fortune 500 … had vanished by 1983 — acquired, merged, or broken to pieces.”


innovation-business-weekThe answer is easy…EVERYONE!  It’s a fact that everyone is naturally creative and innovative.  The typical characteristics of innovators include having an open mind, being curious with humble inquiry, and seeing the world with new eyes to integrate new technologies and/or ideas.  Although you may have “retired” your innate innovative ability, know you may reactivate it at any time!


We define innovation as a formula with three essential elements:

Innovation = New ideas + action that produces value 


New ideas that lead to innovation require clarity as to “the problem to be solved” or “the job to be done.”  Once a problem is clearly defined, then new ideas can be generated.  Innovation requires we bring in diversity of thought and be open to accepting alternative viewpoints that don’t necessarily align with current beliefs.  In fact, tension and being challenged is fertile ground for generating new ideas.  It is also easier to build upon vastly different ideas than it is when the pool of possibilities is too similar.


Rule number one when it comes to taking action in a culture of innovation is to accelerate your rate of failure. Our motto is “Fail often and fast at the lowest cost to find the success.” If the implementation of a new idea has failed, be careful not to kill the idea because of it.  A great idea is always a great idea, so keep in mind that it may take time for the right technology to come along for the idea to come to life.

As it takes a village to raise a child so will it take a village to bring a truly innovative idea to life. In that regard, a strong and diverse collaborative team can perform miracles. To foster successful action is to trust your people. The gift of letting people do their job in their own way is important to creating a healthy culture of innovation. 


Value is demonstrated when a new idea is accepted and used.  Value can be tangible – as in increased profits, the creation of jobs or changes in observable behavior.  Value can also be intangible – as in changes in attitudes, thoughts and beliefs. Value is ultimately realized as a competitive advantage for your organization. 


To realize the potential of innovation, your organization has to be “innovation-ready,” which means:

  • The leadership understands the true value of innovation
  • The leadership recognizes if and when the current rate of innovation is not sufficient to be competitive
  • The leadership commits to promoting, rewarding and sustaining the culture and climate of innovation


Strengthen your innovation potential with a simple innovation strategy; see Innovation Bytes for 10-minute tips.

By Natasha Tong

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