What if we FLIPPED our MEETINGS?
What if meetings didn't $%#$? What if meetings were more engaging, more productive, more fun, and more aligned with what people need to DO? That's what I've been working on with organizations for the past twenty-five years or so ...  


I'm particularly interested in how we can change day-to-day meeting practice - not just the fancy facilitated off-sites - by building capacity for everyone at all levels and in all roles to use some simple designs for engaging participants I call Liberating Structures (pdf). 


Recently, I was talking with colleagues about an idea that is taking the education world by storm - the FLIPPED CLASSOOM and I thought, "I should have had a V-8!"




We need to start talking about "flipped" meetings!


The "flipped" classroom is a hot idea - and people seem to "get" it. Here's the basic notion. Typically courses have used classroom time for lectures and (usually didactic) presentation of content. Students are then given homework assignments to go away and grapple with making sense of and applying what they've learned. In the flipped classroom, this is reversed. Lectures and direct instruction is accessed outside of class via video and/or audio. Classroom time is used to engage students - often in collaborative work - to think about the content, raise questions, interact with the instructor and do lots of other things it's hard to get around to doing when you use up so much time on presentations.  

What might a flipped meeting be like? 
  • The purpose of the meeting would not be to share information or updates.
  • Meeting time wouldn't be spent talking about what to do after the meeting.
  • Work would get done during the real time of the meeting itself.
  • Meetings would be for shared sense-making and collaboration.
  • No presentations would be made at the meeting.
  • People would be invited based on their role in actually DOing something.
  • If there's nothing to DO, there's no reason to have the meeting.
  • Participants would have responsibility for the creating content (no one is 'audience').
  • Managers or others might create a short video available ahead of time about the purpose of the meeting (or, even better, pose a wicked question (pdf) to the group).
  • Meeting material worth reviewing would be easily archived - perhaps avoiding the "groundhog day meeting" problem where we repeat everything because somebody wasn't there.

To start, here are five ways to flip your meeting (pdf).  

How else could we transform our meetings by FLIPPING them?


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