How Might We make meetings more productive, inclusive and meaningful all while leaving judgements at the door?
How often have you attended a meeting where the conversation seems does around in circles without any sense of progress? How often has an individual taken over the meeting? How often have you found ideas being judged and rejected without consideration?
True, some rejections may be valid but what if they were considered for a moment? What alternative solutions or opportunities might we find? What if everyone had a voice?
What if there was a way to structure the meeting to be more inclusive, fully understand the problem and embrace potential opportunities?
There is! We can take inspiration from Jake Knapp's Design Sprint. Typically a 4/5 day process for quickly solving big challenges, it involves a range of activities throughout but the one idea I want to focus on for our hypothetical meeting is the How Might We note-taking.
How Might We Note-taking
The How Might We (HMW) is an inclusive method of note-taking. Jake Knapp learned of it from IDEO but it was first implemented by Procter & Gamble in the '70s. While listening to the challenges or problems to be solved, each person writes his or her notes on individual sticky notes in the form of a HMW statement, e.g.
HMW improve the experience of ordering coffee?
HMW tell our story more creatively?
HMW make the process more efficient?
At the end of the meeting, all notes are merged and a vote takes place on which ones to focus on. The result? Everyone is included, it helps with decision making on actions and where to focus for the next meeting.
HMW get started with this idea?
To try this out, you'll need a problem to solve, some sharpies, sticky notes and a group eager to share ideas without judgement!