Meetings are a big part of our work week, whether it is a recurring staff, team, or board meeting or informal check-in. Our meetings are face-to-face, virtually, and a combination of the two known as “hybrid” meetings. Many times our meetings are highly productive, but sometimes meetings can be boring, frustrating, and a complete waste of time. Whether our meeting is useless or valuable depends on how we design, facilitate, and follow up.
Meeting design is more than just agenda planning or identifying topics. If you are facilitating the meeting you need figure out logistics like scheduling, materials, and effective use of technology for virtual meetings. You also need to establish meeting norms or rules of engagement and then design and facilitate the process to get results. Often, we get stuck in meeting design ruts where we blindly follow the same template or recipe. What if you tried different processes to increase engagement or productivity?
When I design and facilitate meeting for clients, board meetings, or as part of a workshop, webinar or other training, I’m always looking for new ideas for design and processes. That’s why I’ve keep a good list of meeting facilitation playbooks handy for inspiration. Here’s my curated list.
- Emerging Leaders Playbook Toolkit-The toolkit includes highly practical meeting facilitation “recipes” to help build skills in managing self, teams, and organizational culture.The facilitator agendas are designed for beginner or novice facilitators. –
- Sharing Knowledge Wiki-This wiki was created by The ICT-KM group of the CGIAR and other partners to catalog and document processes for nonprofits that want to share knowledge across partners doing development work. The facilitation methods are participatory. Each method provides step-by-ste instructions, examples, templates, and additional reading links.
- MindTools Team Management Tools -Mindtools is a robust collection of resources to increase productivity, improve management and leadership skills, and support organizational development initiatives. This section includes templates for meeting processes.
- Teampedia-This collection includes many useful team building activities, icebreakers, teamwork resources, and tools for teams that want to improve their collaborative processes, including meetings.
- HyperIsland-Hyper Island is a creative business school in Sweden with a unique approach to learning that focuses on collaboration, creativity, and learning-by-doing. The toolkit includes easy methods for any team that wants to improve collaboration and creativity.
- Sessionlab-This resource collection of well-annotated facilitator plans for meetings and training is part of a software tool that helps facilitator’s create and document their processes.
- Lucid Meeting Agenda Templates-Lucid Meeting is a collaboration and meeting platform. The template library consists of facilitator agendas for a wide range of meeting types.There is also a useful section of virtual meeting templates.
- IAF Methods Database-The IAF Methods Database is the mother of all facilitator resource collections for professional or highly skilled facilitators.
What are some of your favorite resources for designing and facilitating meetings for nonprofits? Share in the comments below.