5 Reasons to Have a Meeting (and Accompanying "Must Have" Videos)
Whether an organization is large or small, there are a variety of reasons to have a meeting (a few of the best reasons are listed here). And, whether the meeting event is formal or informal, video is an effective way to increase participation, engagement and overall enjoyment.
Meeting Reason #1: To Announce a Change in Direction
Going through any type of change typically means three things: (1) letting go of the old and saying goodbye to things that have become familiar and comfortable (2) entering a state of uncertainty and the unknown, (3) eventually finding a “new normal”. Too often during this process — before the new normal feels comfortable — people focus on what they are losing which leads to anger; or, they focus on the uncertainty of the situation which leads to anxiety and fear. In organizations, these reactions can sabotage the success of a change initiative.
When announcing a change of any kind, organizations benefit greatly from helping people see the change not so much as a loss, but as an opportunity to explore new frontiers—which can be exhilarating. It is scary to let go of what was perceived as being “secure”. But there is also risk in sticking too much with the status quo and becoming obsolete. Make it a focal point of your meeting to remind people that organizations today must continually reinvent themselves and the way they do things. Emphasize the upside of innovation and trying new things.
Recommended Video Resource: Jump! Using skydiving as a metaphor, this short video helps people see change as a series of steps and as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat.
Meeting Reason #2: To Get Buy-in for a Big Goal
If yours is like most organizations, you are looking to improve results. If you’ve had a good year, you want to build on that success and make next year even better. If you’ve had a bad year, you need to do whatever you can to turn things around. To employees, this can get frustrating. Sales people will say things like, “Sure, it’s great to hit my numbers….but when I do, management just raises my budget the next year.” Or, you’ll overhear production employees expressing things like, “How are we supposed to release that product ahead of schedule when they just laid-off 10% of the staff?”
Challenging goals are daunting. At these types of meetings, the overriding message should be – YES, this is going to be tough…but you don’t have to do it alone! Focus on teamwork and collaboration; how people can work together to find ways to achieve success. Make sure the sales rep facing a bigger goal knows she can brainstorm customer acquisition strategies with her manager or someone from marketing. If the organization plans to provide new types of job aids or resources to help reach the goal, demo them at the meeting.
Recommended Video Resource: Everest When it comes to audacious goals, there aren’t many bigger than blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer’s goal to summit Mt. Everest! This video shows the teamwork that made it possible for Erik and others to achieve success.
Even with the best laid plans, unexpected challenges and setbacks occur. If there are too many, morale and productivity suffer while commitment to the goal wavers. At times like this, it’s always good to re-group and help people reflect on what is going right and what kinds of things can be done.
Here’s where the right video can make a world of difference. Kick off your meeting with an example of a real-world team that accomplished amazing things in the face of adversity simply by refusing to give up and by being willing to look to non-traditional sources for ideas and solutions.
Recommended Video Resource: Chilean Mine Rescue: The Unstoppable Team Documenting one of the most dramatic rescues in history, this video profiles the commitment, tenacity, creativity and resourcefulness of everyone involved with the rescue of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days.
Meeting Reason #4: To Set the Expectation for Excellence
In today’s chaotic world, it’s tempting for organizations to adopt a mindset of mediocrity. After all, when employees have way too much to do and limited time in which to do it…isn’t it better to have them focus on crossing everything off the list rather than have them get bogged down making sure every little thing is perfect? Well…not really. Organizations can’t really afford to be “okay” with half-baked solutions to problems (that end up causing new problems), half-hearted attempts to satisfy customers or a lack of critical review and follow-through when a new strategy is being put into place. In many cases, ethics violations occur because the organization has demonstrated a tolerance for certain things just “sliding by.”
Group sessions on the topic of excellence and quality can enable organizations to have discussions around important issues that impact long-term success. For example: Is it ever okay to cut corners? Should an organization wait for a certain number of complaints before addressing a problem? How is customer satisfaction being measured? Is the organization known for quality (and does it want to be)? Do employees feel empowered to challenge the system when they think things could be done better?
Recommended Video Resource: Is “Good” Enough? 99.9% is often considered as close to perfect as possible. But if 99.9% is really “good enough,” then each year (for example) 200,000 tax returns would be lost by the IRS and 4,266 newborns would leave the hospital with the wrong parents. “Is Good Enough?” challenges viewers to re-think their standards of quality, safety and excellence.
Meeting Reason #5: To Spark Innovation and Creativity
When new ideas and solutions are needed, the smartest organizations turn to the people closest to the work. When they do, some employees embrace the opportunity to brainstorm and give input; others are paralyzed with fear, believing that they really don’t have anything to offer or contribute.
For sessions on innovation, make sure meeting facilitators know how to encourage everyone to participate and give their honest opinion. If possible, provide plenty of right-brain activities and games to make the meeting fun and to keep the group’s energy level high.
Recommended Video Resource: Everyday Creativity Everyone is creative–they just might not know it. This unforgettable program reveals nine key concepts of creativity which can be used by anyone to open their creative mind. Hosted by National Geographic photographer Dewitt Jones.