9 components of a highly collaborative meeting

==1. Everyone has real-time read/write access to the notes.

It’s likely useful to appoint one person to do the main note-taking, however, the entire group can help massage the notes and provide relevant formatting, word-smithing, additional information etc…  This means that as the meeting progresses everyone has an awareness of what is being captured.

==2. Everyone has access to a [centralized] shared repository of all documents of all of the group’s ongoing work.

The repository includes all resources from previous meetings.  Resources from the current meeting are added in real-time to the repository.  Ideally, any resources for the current meeting have already been put in the repository prior to the meeting, allowing participants to prepare ahead of time.

==3. Action points are recorded in real-time.

It is clear at the end of the meeting what needs to be done because everyone has already seen the notes evolving, (implicitly validating them) and knows what needs to get done.  As action points are assigned, they are immediately put into whatever system works the best for your team.  The meeting’s participants work together in real-time as the meeting is progressing to get the points into the relevant follow-up system.

==4. There is no administrative work todo after the meeting.

The only thing participants must do after the meeting is work on their action items.  Notes and action items have already been recorded and made available as soon as the final buzzer sounds.  Perhaps the only administration that needs to happen is, within 10 minutes of the meeting’s conclusion, a reminder communication to the group of where action points can be found.

==5. All presentations and resources are immediately put into shared repository during the meeting.

If Sally has provided a handout, she can put a soft-copy of the file into the repository when she finishes her bit.

==6. There is a threaded, centralized, self-contained, communication channel.

All of the group’s communication outside of the meeting happens here.  This is likely not email.  It is likely that communications during the meeting will be initiated as a result of action points.

==7. Participants do not email the entire group (during the meeting or at any other time)

They simply get appropriate notification (potentially email) of

a. relevant communication in the shared channel

b. of additions or items placed into the repository

==8. There is a real-time chat during the meeting

This is a sort of meeting within the meeting.  This is visible to all meeting participants and especially useful during virtual meetings.

Without interrupting, participants can:

a. Clarify what is being talked about (ex. Someone might enquire, “What does LWI mean?”  This can be answered by another participant while the meeting is going on.)

b. Make suggestions (ex. “I think the report should include two years of data instead of one, can I take a moment to explain?”  This alerts the facilitator that a meeting participant member has an important contribution to draw out and can steer the direction that way.)

c. Provide supporting information (ex. “Here’s a link to the article the presenter just referenced.”  This allows those interested to check out the source while the presenter continues.)

==9. If the meeting is a virtual meeting, connections issues do not interrupt the meeting starting.

One person is in charge of getting everyone connected.  This is not the person leading the meeting.

What components have you found essential in having highly collaborative meetings?

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2 thoughts on “9 components of a highly collaborative meeting

  1. What tool do you use as a threaded, centralized, self-contained, communication channel? Maybe you mentioned that in earlier posts, but I missed that.

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    1. Hi Ala,

      Good question. Your favourite project collaboration tool, like Manymoon, probably has this feature. The new Facebook Groups is also an example. Google Wave was another tool that was useful for this, but I miss. The organization I work for has a tool called GCX Project, but most modern collaboration tools also have this.

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