Charlies Angels or Powerpuff Girls?

31 Jan

I had an interesting meeting with a group of very intelligent, highly charged ladies today. They were trying to figure out the best route in getting commitment from their managers to adopt key performance measures as a way of running and reporting progress of their respective businesses. I was called in to be given a brief of my facilitation role in their workshop next week.

After about 90 minutes, I had to excuse myself to catch another meeting across town and as I drove off I was thinking how come after 90 minutes of discussions, I had got no more closer to the brief I was looking for as compared to the time I walked into the room? Was it me or was it the ladies or was it the combination of the ladies and me?

And this is so common in so many meetings. Time and energy is spent, a lot of action but no motion. To make meetings work, there are some very basic protocols to be followed and if followed you are guaranteed motion.

The protocols are:
Define the Goal for that meeting and ensure everyone is clear of that goal.
Define the key Roles in the meeting- the Scribe, the Time Keeper, the Meeting Minder
Define the Inter-personals – how are we going to behave in this meeting
Define the Process – they way the meeting will be conducted

(BTW:I must thank Noor of Shell for gifting me the above protocols)

This is so basic yet I went in and did not establish the protocols. I am sure if I did we would have had a brilliant outcome in 90 minutes.

So the moral of the story is no matter how clever people are, & no matter how committed people are, in the absence of clarity and process we will get a lot of action but very little motion.

Charlie’s Angels or Powerpuff Girls? Either way these ladies were going to beat the stuffing out of their managers, they were just trying to decide if they should come across as strong and mature or cute and funny.


Posted by on January 31, 2007 in Transformation


2 responses to “Charlies Angels or Powerpuff Girls?

  1. highly charged lady bee

    February 7, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    May I also suggest (perhaps not as helpful as Noor from Shell) that you attend the discussion with an open mind.

    Being highly charged and so determined to achieve what they set out to do, the ladies may have assumed that you had a good understanding of their requirements. Perhaps they weren’t looking for new or better ways to get the job done. It seems that both parties started the discussion at different levels.

    BTW: the the ladies achieved what they set out to do?

  2. mindspring

    February 8, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Good point!

    The coment “both parties started discussion to different levels..” so aptly describes what happens many – many times in meetings. Instead of ensuring everyone in on the same page with the same understanding of the issue and the dsired goal, we jump head in and soon can’t see the trees from the forest.

    That is why, I said “This is so basic yet I went in and did not establish the protocols.” ,and for this reason I hold myself accoutable for it.

    As far as the ladies go, with the conviction and commitment they have always shown, success will be with them.


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