- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (September 9, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118538668
- ISBN-13: 978-1118538661
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Virtuous Meetings: Technology + Design for High Engagement in Large Groups Hardcover – September 9, 2014
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From the Inside Flap
Virtuous Meetings describes a new methodology that integrates communications technology into meeting design, to completely transform how meetings feel, and what they accomplish.
Virtuous Meetings are collaborative, generative meetings that create convergent outcomes. Virtuous Meetings make the best possible use of each participant’s energy and ideas, and the most respectful use of each participant’s time. They transform even the largest meetings into hands-on “working” sessions.
Participating in a Virtuous Meeting is exciting, creative, and revelatory—giving participants a glimpse of what it feels like to work as a single integrated team. Virtuous Meetings liberates meeting designers from traditional assumptions and from business-as-usual Q&A and breakout formats. It introduces two-level meeting design, utilizing high-speed connectivity to capture and work with the contributions of all the participants in real time.
Meeting design is the key that unlocks the transformative power of communication technology in large group meetings. The design methodology offered in Virtuous Meetings is the result of the authors’ twenty years of experience pioneering the integration of technology into large meetings. The book includes illustrative examples from the authors’ work around the world with large organizations in their most critical meetings. Topics include:
- An examination of the difference between front-of-the-room-centered large meeting design and participant-centered design
- The use of two-level meeting design, where meeting participants are part of both the plenary group and small discussion groups
- The simple steps of the Virtuous Engagement Cycle that can be used to generate real alignment and ownership in large groups by means of small group discussions
- The utilization of technological connectivity to enable a “parallel processing” activity during small group discussions that eliminates the need for time-consuming “breakouts” and repetitive “report outs”
From the Back Cover
PRAISE FOR VIRTUOUS MEETINGS
“When you open this book, be prepared to be amazed. Amazed at how technology can enable real human interaction—you know, the face-to-face, look-’em-in-the-eye kind where people get up close and personal and find common bonds through honest communication. In case after case, Karl Danskin and Lenny Lind show you how one-way monologues from leaders to followers can be transformed into effective, trust-building, two-way dialogues between members of a community. I’ve seen it work, and it’s close to magic. I highly recommend that you not only read this book, but that you put the process described in Virtuous Meetings into practice.”
—Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge; Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
“It was personally rewarding to be part of a virtuous meeting. The methodology described in this book works. With two hundred leaders from the organization around the world at our leadership conference, everyone felt that their voice was heard, their suggestions were truly valued, and the shared vision was collectively embraced.”
—Patrick Y. Yang, PhD, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Technical Operations, Roche Pharmaceuticals (Retired)
“Danskin and Lind have made an important contribution to the theory and practice of large group meetings. If you think you can’t get work done or people engaged when they are in large meetings, be prepared for a surprise. Virtuous Meetings is an engaging handbook that will help leaders understand why and how to create large meetings that engage everyone present.”
—Barbara Bunker, Professor Emerita, University at Buffalo; coauthor of Handbook of Large Group Methods
“Hands down, these guys are best in the world at facilitating meaningful conversations amongst large groups of people. For nearly 20 years, Lenny and Karl and their team have supported me in crucial meetings with the senior leaders of the world’s largest companies in Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Australia. They are process experts who masterfully use technology, rather than technologists who pretend to understand process. This practical and inspiring book reveals their secrets. It’s a must-read for anyone designing or facilitating a large meeting where conversation and understanding really matter.”
—Brian Bacon, Founder and Chairman, Oxford Leadership Academy
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Top customer reviews
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The goal is convergence: to bring the considered voice of the organization or community into the room, to create alignment between members and leadership, and to move forward together.
The four step process begins with presentation of information, but then branches off to something much more creative than the usual one way meeting: discussion in small groups. Review of the results of these discussions is the third step, and the review is "brought into the room" via the fourth step - response by leadership -- those at the front of the room -- to the small group discussions.
Of course, the whole process should be safe and productive for participants (those formerly known as "members of the audience"). But one of the authors' most telling points is that the process should also be productive and safe for presenters and leadership. No more "three minutes at the microphone", which gives just a few people a chance to speak, and which often creates a challenging, gladiatorial atmosphere for the presenters and dissatisfaction, anxiety, or boredom for much of the audience.
The authors have more than two decades of experience developing and tuning their approach. This allows them to go deeper, in three ways. First, they examine the "levers" available to the meeting designers and facilitators in each process step and how they can be used. Second, six "face to face" case studies show how the approach was adapted, sometimes on the fly, for difficult settings and to handle challenges that cropped up half-way through the process. Third, the authors describe common pitfalls or misinterpretations, why they may be tempting, and why they should be avoided.
Danskin and Lind also suggest how the virtuous meeting design, developed for face to face events, has been adapted for meetings that are largely or entirely conducted via the Internet. The two "virtual event" case studies suggest that their process provides a good foundation for positive results here as well, and we can look forward to more work and more detailed reporting on this way of bringing the virtuous meeting approach to the world.
The text unfolds as a roadmap for individual and collective work with meeting dynamics for small and large groups. Case stories present relevant, fascinating, real life experiences, which highlight the value of well-developed meeting strategies in the telecom industry, urban renewal projects, global and local manufacturing plants, as well as in the corporate, social, and environmental realms.
Virtuous Meetings clearly identifies and expertly explains five key concepts to achieve success in group settings: collaboration and inclusion, active contribution by participants, aligned and shared identity, interactive communication, and the increased capabilities unleashed through the efficient implementation of technology. Creating the optimum meeting outcome, according to Danskin and Lind, involves awareness and practice of a "Virtuous Engagement Cycle," which is an ordered methodology based on the following agenda: presentation, discussion, review, and response. I am convinced that this methodology is effective in any arena, including the home, office, and classroom.
A vital aspect of Virtuous Meetings is the detailed discussion concerning the intrinsic value of well-applied technology and access to the internet. The authors are imminently proficient in the creation, utilization, and implementation of specific software designed for use in meetings to quickly, efficiently, and accurately collect, organize, and disseminate data.
Technically speaking, Virtuous Meetings contains many of the expected helpful features (glossary, index, footnotes, chapter summaries, diagrams, and graphics, relevant references), which make the book more informative and useful. I am very pleased with how well-written and researched this book is, and that it is presented in a very easy-to-read conversational tone.