Town Hall Meeting

The term Town Hall Meeting is often used inside a company to characterize a meeting organized by a highly ranked executive and gathering a large part of the company employees, or even all of them.

Usually, the meeting is meant to give a short status on what the executives are working on for the future of the company and to answer some of the burning questions that have been heard in the hall way. Some of those questions have not been heard directly by the executives, but have been reported to them by some people. I have used two times the word “some” in the last sentence to give a sense of fuzziness, and uncertainty of what are the real concerns of people.

Let’s imagine that you are this executive, you have organized the meeting, you are ready for your speech, everybody is there. So now, you delivered your speech and you are ready for questions.

And, there’s no question.

Or, if there are questions, there are pushed by some manager, that want you to repeat what you already said, something that will reinforce their own beliefs, or positions.

In your speech, you have even gone further than what was planned to be said with your management team, and you have said that.

But still, there’s no question.

And, you know that there are unspoken questions. But the time is over, and there’s no way to know what are the real questions.

What is the problem?

Maybe the problem lies in the format itself. The Town Hall is not giving the sense to people that they can contribute to the thinking, that they can disagree. The Town Hall presents yourself in a position of power, with the authority to say yes or no.

Now, let’s say that you are a participant of the Town Hall Meeting.

At some point during the speech, you had one question. It was not really a question, in reality, it was more a slight disagreement. Maybe you wanted a clarification.

During the course of the speech, you have seen that effect reproduced 2 or 3 times. But that was not the time for questions.

And when the time for questions came, you cannot find a way to formulate all this in a meaningful way.

You even heard some of your coworkers said at the end of the meeting: “I bite my tongue because I really not agree with what Mr. Z said on this topic”.

Another option?

Maybe, If we want more interactions, if we want people to ask for clarifications when it’s time to do that, we need to use another format of meetings.

One of those formats could be a Fish Bowl.

In a fish bowl, the executive will not be alone in the center, so he can be joined in the fishbowl by some people in his or her management team. And it’s a moderated conversation, so topics can flow more freely from one or the other.

In addition, there’s an empty chair in the middle, and any person in the audience can sit on that chair to join the conversation at any time. When this occurs, an existing member of the fishbowl must leave the fishbowl and free a chair.

This way the clarifications questions and the slight disagreement could be covered at the moment they arise, and more questions and concerns can be covered.

Are you ready to try this?

 

 

 

The header picture is from Ryan McGuire.

The dream begins now

The first time I explain that to enable collaboration, we need to create the conditions of this collaboration between people, people approved… But I feel like it’s not really understood.

The idea that a meeting needs to be facilitated to help participants to achieve their goals is seen as animation… Like if it was only entertainment…

I lived an interesting experience that can illustrate this idea of “creating the conditions”. We joined friends for a weekend in an holiday village. It was a real discovery as we didn’t know the kind of village and the place.

When we arrived by car on the car park, several employees was waiting for them with big smiles on their face. They took care to explain to the three of us that they will take care of the luggages, indicates us where to park, and how to find our room.

The simple fact that they were smiling, welcoming, benevolent enable in a snap a total deconnection from the week. I was on holiday! Nice weather and nice place probably count also… But I am sure that it was their behavior that makes a real difference.

The last sentence pronounced by one of them reveal their intention : “The dream begins now”.

And it works, I was instantly on holiday, and those one and half day spend there was really restful.

This can makes us think of the behavior we will adopt during our next appointment or meeting?

Communautés et Organisations

Bénédicte Taillebois, Luc Bizeul, Sébastien Douche, Frédéric Freiss et Jean-Michel Huten étaient à La Cantine ce mercredi 15 septembre pour la répétition de la conférence “Comment les entreprises bénéficient-elles des communautés ?” qui se déroulera le 1er octobre de 11h à 12h30 durant l’OpenWorldForum.

Je les remercie chaleureusement pour leurs contributions à cette session d’entrainement dont je suis ressorti enthousiaste. Je peux à présent vous assurer que cette session sera d’un très bon niveau et que les participants (vous donc 🙂 ) retireront un grand bénéfice de cette session pour améliorer leurs organisations.

Generali, Astria, Securactive, Conseil… Issus d’entreprises très différentes par la taille et les prestations fournies et avec des parcours très différents par la formation et l’expérience, Bénédicte, Frédéric, Jean-Michel, Luc et Sébastien apporteront des réponses et des éclairages à de nombreuses questions en rapport avec les communautés et les organisations comme par exemple :

  • Qu’est-ce qu’une communauté pour une entreprise ?
  • Quelles approches pour développer les interactions au delà d’un groupe réduit ?
  • Comment réussir à impliquer les utilisateurs dans le développement d’un produit ?
  • Comment bâtir une organisation qui s’améliore continuellement ?

Et bien sur vos questions, puisque nous avons prévu de réserver 30 minutes pour les échanges avec la salle.

Les intervenants iront au delà des mots valises pour vous transmettre ce qu’ils ont appris et mis en oeuvre dans leurs organisations.

L’inscription est nécessaire pour participer à cette conférence. Je vous remercie après votre inscription à l’OpenWorldForum, de renseigner votre parcours de visite en indiquant votre participation à cette session “Comment les entreprises bénéficient-elles des communautés ?”.

Pour vous inscrire

Cette session se déroulera en Français.

Et pour trouver cette article, vous aurez peut-être besoin de ces mots clés dont je n’ai pas parlé comme : communauté, logiciel libre, open source, facilitation, coach, agile, agilité, scrum, lean, kanban, usabilité, ergonomie…

A lire également :

La présentation de la conférence sur ayeba.fr