When everyone meets face-to-face, the discussion can often feel invigorating and productive and fruitful. But a common scenario is that everyone returns to their desks without a clear plan for implementing the ideas that were generated, and then that inspired energy dissipates. For all its excitement, the meeting was ineffective. Sound familiar? This is why it’s key to have a two-step formula to guarantee the blissful effectiveness of any meeting. Ours goes like this: Step 1 - Capture. Step 2 - Delegate.
“Always Be Capturing”
Joshua Porter, from the popular software company HubSpot, uses the phrase “Always Be Capturing” (ABC), which emerged during a collaborative design sprint with Google Ventures. Porter noted that at every turn the Google team aimed to record every valuable idea put forward by sketching them on whiteboards and writing notes on post-its. It’s a technique that extends well beyond design, to all other kinds of meetings. A continuous capturing process keeps ideas flowing rapidly and serves as a springboard for work after the meeting. It differs from traditional note-taking in a few ways:
It’s active and collaborative. Translating ideas from invisible thoughts to physical notes makes it possible to gauge if everyone’s on the same page, and to collaborate in completing the idea. The captured product then serves as an artifact of mutual understanding.
It’s goal-oriented. Whoever is speaking in the meeting should aim at articulating an idea that can be easily captured, which encourages them to be as clear and concrete as possible. If it can’t be captured, it’s a sign that the idea can be let go of.
After a meeting, ideally everyone should return to their computers full of inspiration—and a clear sense of what their role is in moving the ideas forward. This is key in making sure all the brilliant ideas that were generated and captured actually see the light of day. Depending on the agenda and the atmosphere of the meeting, you can delegate tasks throughout the meeting—or alternatively at the end of the meeting. If you’re working with a bullet-point style agenda, best assign tasks to each person as you’re moving through the discussion items. If it’s a more open and unstructured forum for brainstorming, you can save delegation for the end. Take the ideas you are committed to and break them down into task-sized pieces that can be assigned to the people in the room. By capturing and delegating, you can channel the excitement of a good meeting into its effectiveness in the long term. RunYourMeeting makes it easy to capture and delegate in real time. With a shared overview of goals, agenda items and delegated tasks to work with, no one on your team has to waste time reconstructing discussions or sending follow-up emails later.
Best of all, this proactive approach will create the conditions for more invigorating and empowering meetings to come.