I recently led a set of multi-day meetings to review research conducted about our organization’s effectiveness.
An idea that I came up with was to give each meeting participant a red card. The rules were that a red card could be played at any time any participant thought the conversation was getting off topic.
When a red card was played, discussion would halt and there would be friendly debate about whether we were off topic or not. Nine times out of ten, it was agreed we had drifted off topic.
It was helpful to have the peer pressure of the group and a clear mechanism for helping everyone stay on the straight and narrow. Participants enjoyed the ability to help shape the meeting when things began to drift.
Have you employed any creative mechanisms to keep meetings on topic?