Tag Archives: breaking the vicious meeting cycle

Business Social – Reason #26: Digital Deep Dive Discussions

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In this post, we draw an example from one enterprise’s successful use of a business social network to support a real-time bi-directional digital deep dive discussion that was inclusive of hundreds of attendees.

Anyone who’s at all familiar with the modern workplace knows that scheduling 26 people to be in one room together, or on one phone line together, is nigh impossible. Answering the queries of all those who attend in a mere 80 minutes is equally unimaginable.

Yet on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013, twenty-six people participated in a multi-directional conversation that, in under an hour and a half, covered 19 different topics. 200 more people were content to watch and listen (“lurk”), but could easily have commented or contributed without disrupting the meeting. Furthermore, everything discussed was logged, saved, and remains available on the intranet in an easily searchable format.

This miracle was made possible by business social.

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All questions and answers are easy to view, search, bookmark, and share. The most junior members of the meeting could ask questions, and receive answers in real time, from the most senior. Date and time stamps on each entry indicate the relevance of the data for all future readers. Avatars and contact cards let any user identify and contact a subject matter expert long after the original meeting comes to a close.

The content itself is worth a read for anyone connected to the meeting topic. Meeting participants could easily link to and from other websites and content, creating information bridges that remain open for all  users. A public weekly meeting, which was not well known but which is open to all who seek further discussion, was exposed and remains exposed to every future employee who browses this space. In short, there is no shortage of valuable data left behind.

This confluence of content and communication would be extremely difficult in person or over the phone. Creating a record of the meeting with such depth and detail would be nigh impossible.

Using a business social network, however, allowed this all to happen smoothly and successfully.

What can business social do for you?

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Business Social – Reason #4: Breaking the Vicious Meeting Cycle

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In this quick illustrated article, we look at how a business social network can replace an unending cycle of increasingly inefficient meetings with real-time collaboration and productivity.

It’s difficult to work in a corporate environment and not become familiar with the Vicious Cycle of Meetings. I’ve been here less than a month, and I’m already spinning painfully through its turbulance.

The Vicious Cycle of Meetings works something like this:
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First, it takes weeks to get everyone you need in one place. Then you hurry to cover weeks of content, which is impossible in the limited time given. People are late. Key people suddenly can’t show up. Work that had to be completed before the meeting wasn’t. The meeting runs over and steals time from other meetings, perpetuating the issue of lateness.

More meetings are required, not only to follow up on discussed topics but also to cover topics missed. The cycle perpetuates, feeds on itself, and forces everyone to spend all their time running from one meeting to another.

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All right, it’s not that apocalyptic. “Dilbert” is still satire. Mostly.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative.

Social collaboration tools aren’t just fancy workplace substitutes for Facebook and Twitter. Jive can break the cycle. Here’s how:

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  1. First, contribute content. Ideas. Issues. Things that could or should work better. Questions about something you don’t understand. The results of things you’ve been working on. Successes. Failures.
  2. Second, react. It’s not enough just to read what other people have posted: you have to show your feelings on the subject. Vote on polls. Give “likes” if you like things. Sharing and bookmarking through Jive’s right-hand toolbar tells Jive that this is interesting content, and Jive can, in turn, promote it or ignore it.
  3. Third, comment. If you have something to say, say it! Don’t think of Jive as a website, think of it as a meeting. The point of a meeting is to get input, feedback, and opinions.

The more you take your ideas and discussions to Jive, the more those you work with will do the same. Instead of endless meetings, each idea has its own digital space to accrue opinions, updates, and collaboration.

Unlike email, a business social platform serves as a one-stop digital record of all input on a topic. No need to ensure that each email is sent to a massive list of involved people you may or may not know, or aggregate thirty responses.

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As the pointy-haired boss likes to say, let’s work smarter, not harder.

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