At a recent all day meeting we had a play around with a new way of managing the agenda. Instead of running through in a predefined order, we simply created a meeting lucky dip. All of the sections of the agenda went into a hat, we then picked out one of these at a time to find out which thing we’d be focusing on next. This really helped us just focus on the bit of the meeting we were on, we couldn’t skip ahead and look at what was coming next (until there was just one thing left in the hat!) and we were able to keep much fresher through the course of the day.
For each item, we still made sure we made it clear why this element of the day was on the agenda in the first place, what success looked like for each section and gave ourselves an appropriate amount of time to get the work done. Each time we got to pick the next section there was a definite switch off from the previous section and a refocusing to make sure we all understood what the next section was all about when it was drawn. Someone led each element, so we had a shifting chair person too… all in all, the slightly randomised order made a positive difference.
It was a simple break from the normal meeting protocol, but it certainly helped to create a positive, efficient and lighthearted approach to the day.