Purpose : Making space for meeting agendas to be co-created means ideas and issues present with teams can be put in the middle where everyone can progress them, rather than piling up on the manager’s desk. We’ve found this practice to be powerful in creating team alignment, boosting engagement and initiative-taking.
At the start of each meeting have the table above up on a whiteboard. Allow people to write up their own agenda items as they enter the room.
Appoint a timekeeper (ideally not the same person each meeting) who will formulate the meeting timetable. They will first tally up the time total and see if there is enough for everyone’s items and negotiate with item-holders about having breakout groups running simultaneously if not everyone is needed for that agenda item, or facilitate arrangements for agenda items to be addressed at next meeting if required.
The timekeeper will use their phone or a Time Timer to keep track of time of agenda items, warning the item-holder when their time is half complete and again near the end. If there is extra space, the timekeeper may extend the time for items if the discussion is still very alive at the end of the originally-allocated time.
Run the meeting! If you have break-out groups it’s great to have a moment at the end to share pertinent updates with everyone.
Note : If your team is new to this practice, you may also want to have an appointed facilitator in addition to the timekeeper who is responsible for keeping the discussion cooperative e.g. giving cues for 1 person talking at a time if the discussion is fragmenting, keeping feedback constructive, and giving space for quieter voices.