11 Create Meetings with More IMPACT

YES! AND… Facilitate, Innovate, Transform – Creative Gorilla # 11

Here are five principles to help you design meetings with more impact…

Creative Meetings

“Sounds Like Fun”

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity”

Ascribed to Dorothy Parker, Novelist


Do you want your meetings to have more impact?

Hi! It’s a beautiful sunny day here in London, glorious spring weather. I am just back from a two hour bike ride and I feel great. I did some exploring, ventured down some new “secret” paths that I had not noticed before, saw stunning scenery and even met a number of people who replied to my, “Good morning”.

I was whipped by stinging nettles, shaken to bits on bridleways (horse tracks) and stuck in mud in a hoof hole, but I came back energised, uplifted and so raring to go, I am writing this in my cycle shorts.

You know that feeling? Like when you come out of meetings? Energised, uplifted, motivated! Or maybe not. More likely you come out bored, listless and seeking caffeine to change your state. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Meetings are something I have thought about a lot this week as I redesigned my “Training with More Impact” course and designed a couple of workshops for clients.

The course is based on five principles, which I have adapted over the years from various aspects of accelerated learning and brain friendly (see www.kaizentraining.com) training.

Whilst cycling, I reflected that meetings are about learning too, at least they should be. Therefore, it would be useful to share these principles with creative leaders like you, so that you might apply them to your meetings.


Here are the five principles. As you read them, reflect on how they might help you improve your meeting:

Create a great learning climate

Establish the climate as relaxed, welcoming and enjoyable. Have fun briefing materials. Relax people. Have them interact and get to know each other. Let them construct the rules, don’t lay them down. Let them know the destination, the route and the attractions of getting there. Brighten the walls. Have freedom to move. Play music. Provide natural light. Provide healthy refreshment and water.

Engage them on different levels

People have multiple intelligences and they learn using their body, their eyes and ears as well as their mind. Some people like to gain information through hands on experience and use that information to generate new ideas. Some like to stand back and think and evaluate ideas. So cater for these different factors and individuals. Have them think, do and create their knowledge, avoid information dumping. Get them in the right STATE for learning.

Foster collaboration

Have them talk, work and play together in small teams. Encourage them to reflect with others. Create a learning community, rather than a group of individuals.

Inject variety

Use a variety of media to appeal to all their senses and different intelligences. Make use of visuals a lot. Use different types of exercises, vary group sizes, rotate people around groups, and change venues.

Involve the real world

Make it real not abstract. Take that idea off PowerPoint and use models, create a prototype or make a video. Better still, have them do it.


The next time you have to run a meeting, consider using these principles. Redesign your agenda and try and eliminate those PowerPoint presentations. I run full day and longer meetings, but how might you adapt the above to suit shorter meetings?


Cycling along today, I spotted a worn wooden sign for either a footpath or bridleway that I had never spotted before. Curious, I turned my bike round to read it. Normally, they say either “Footpath” or “Bridleway”, but this one said something I had not seen before: “Permissive Route”.

I appreciate the people who erected the sign meant that people are granted permission to use the route; but the first entry for permissive in the dictionary actually says “allowing or enjoying the freedom to behave in ways others might consider unacceptable, particularly in sexual matters.”

That conjures up a whole variety of ways to eradicate boredom on a Sunday walk through the countryside.

John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.

Yes! And… We facilitate leaders and teams in medium to large organisations internationally to:

  • Make Meetings Outstanding
  • Make Transformation Simpler
  • Turn Opportunities in to Reality

Imagine what we can do for you…

Contact John or Kate Brooker:

Speak: +44 (0) 20 8869 9990

Write: [email protected]