Many meetings incorrectly focus on logistics when they should be centered on strategy. Also: one last snapshot of ASAE’s 2019 Annual Meeting & Exposition.
In planning a meeting—whether a team meeting at the office or a major conference—you may be focusing on the wrong things, says Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering.
“Most of us take the majority of gatherings for granted. We’ve relegated the function of the convener into a logistical job,” she said in an interview with The Chronicle of Philanthropy. “When you realize that gathering is a form of strategy and is a form of culture change, then you also realize that we often start with the wrong questions, which are the logistical questions. We actually need to start with the strategic questions.”
To set purposeful expectations from the get-go, Parker suggests giving the gathering a meaningful name. For instance, it’s not a “Quarterly Review,” it’s a “Let’s Discuss Why Last Quarter Was Such a Disaster” meeting.
“A gathering begins when people discover its existence. It doesn’t begin from the moment they walk in the door,” she said. “So you’re actually hosting people from the moment they realize they’re invited to this thing. The name of the event should explain to people what this thing is for, what the role is that you are wanting them to actually play in it.”
From there, build an agenda that cultivates community.
“When you gather well, one of the outcomes is you create a sense of belonging,” Parker said. “When you create a sense of belonging, you increase your retention rates. You decrease burnout. I’m not saying gather more, I’m saying gather better.”
— Sarah Sain (@ssain7) August 14, 2019
With a send-off from country singer Brad Paisley, the 2019 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Columbus, Ohio, is officially in the books—which means it’s time to reflect on lessons learned and how to bring them to your organization.
Changes and new processes can be overwhelming all at once, and transformation doesn’t happen overnight. So start small, and make adjustments as you go.
Then, come next year’s event in Las Vegas, you’ll be ready to do it all over again.
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