ProMeet - Professional Meeting Faciliation

Stay focussed. Professional Meeting Facilitation

Meeting Facilitation

You've got a meeting with about ten people, it’s important and you need it to move things on. Your current meeting culture is not great and people don’t enjoy them. We'll make your meeting decisive, effective and focussed, like these examples:
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ESCMID

Board and executive strategy meeting

An executive board and senior mangers meet to plan vision and strategy. See more>
Facilitation of:
A strategy meeting
Duration:
1 day
Number of participants:
10

Helping boards and executives work-together effectively

  • Clear meeting objectives
  • Strategic choices, an input from the executive
  • The board considers the options
  • Reviewing scenarios
  • Assessing the level of agreement
  • Another input from the executive team
  • Clarifying actions and next steps
Since its founding in 1983, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) has evolved to become Europe’s leading society in clinical microbiology and infectious diseases with members from all European countries and all continents. Each year ESCMID run a congress that has grown to 11,000 participants in 2015.

This strategy meeting helped the executive board and executive office work together on the strategy for organising ECCMID.
Results

The team agreed the most important outcomes ECCMID must create, and agreed what was working well about the congress and must be kept, as well as identifying the elements that needed to be improved.

After adopting a common lexicon, the team refined the vision for ECCMID, and sought to understand the positive and negative consequences of the new vision.

After reviewing two scenarios for growth the team created an action plan and timetable, before learning about working together in new ways.
Recommendation
Judith
"You facilitated the ESCMID congress strategy meeting in June 2015 in Tübingen, Germany.

In this highly important meeting the Executive board and the Executive office met to elaborate the future direction of our annual congress.

We knew that the task was challenging: to consolidate potentially highly differing views and opinions in the board and to profit from office knowledge and experience – which has not been done before in such setting. Therefore, we decided that facilitation is needed for optimal outcome.

You as facilitator did a great job in keeping us on track, stimulating beneficial exchange and avoiding or cutting short futile discussions. With your facilitation, we took great results home and surpassed all expectations.

We are looking forward to future opportunities to engage you again."

Judith Zimmermann
ESCMID Executive Director
Governance experience.

Sean Blair has served on five boards. The Business Link accreditation advisory board, the mayor for London's creative industries commission, the RSA council and the RSA Trustees and the council of the Design Council. With extensive experience of being a board member, Sean has an innate understanding of the culture of boards, and is able to work with chairs and members creatively and sensitively whilst maintaining focussed attention on the strategic priorities.
Waitrose

What does good team life look like?

A geographically dispersed team of programme managers seek to build a stronger sense of community. See more>
Facilitation of:
A team build workshop
Duration:
7 hours
Number of participants:
14

Developing a sense of shared community for a geographically dispersed team.

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Background

Like many dispersed teams, this group spend relatively little time with each other, therefore the workshop sought to build a better sense of team or community.

Workshop objective

To develop a shared understanding of what an effective team working looks like, feels like and will do.
Results

The workshop produced the following outputs:

- Increased understanding of how team members could get the best out of each other.
- Better understanding of the strengths in the team.
- A shared vision of the teams purpose.
- Agreed set of positive team behaviours.
- Identified set of negative behaviours.
- Plans to drive change in Waitrose.
- Individual actions plans.
Recommendation
Shah
I worked with Sean to develop an offsite team event for the senior programme manager community making use of his Lego Serious Play facilitation skills.

Right from the initial call, he helped develop the agenda and identify sessions to make the best use of the day in achieving its outcomes. I'd happily recommend him for future such events.

Shah Irani
Lead Programme Manager - Waitrose
Fight for Sight

Developing an agreed strategy

The UK’s leading eye research charity sought alignment and agreement amongst trustees and senior executives on ambition and direction. See more>
Facilitation of:
A vision and strategy
Duration:
Two workshops, 3 hours and 6 hours
Number of participants:
18

Understanding the choices we face

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Background

Fight for Sight is a UK charity developing research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease. Entirely self funded though donations the charity needed to develop a strategy to make the very best use of its resources, which required a serious discussion about the choices and options it faced.

Workshop objectives

To create alignment and agreement amongst the executive and board for the ambition and direction of Fight for Sight.

To get real consensus for and mutual understanding of the strategic choices Fight for Sight faces and must make.
Results

The workshops produced the following outputs:

- A vision for Fight for Sight.
- Consensus with key questions on the vision (using the Scales of Agreement
method).
- Five big strategic questions the vision asked.
- Individual written answers to each of the five questions.
- Understanding of the choices faced.
- Action plans.
- A workshop learning review.

As with every ProMeet workshop and meeting, these were uploaded to a private webpage after the workshop for transparency and accountability, as well as holding a record of the meeting discussion and outputs.
Recommendation
Nigel
Thanks Sean for all your hard work leading up to and including yesterday. You helped us to move on very significantly, both in the way we work and in the development of our five year strategy.

Nigel Pantling
Chairman - Fight for Sight
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ProMeetings-at-Thames-Valley-Housing

Day-to-day management meetings

Thames Valley Housing senior managers adopt ProMeet methods. 35 staff were trained and we fitted out TVH meeting rooms with ProMeet tools. See more>
Facilitation of:
A management meeting
Duration:
3.5 hours
Number of participants:
18

Management meetings that are productive and enjoyable

  • ProMeetings begin with clear objectives
  • Participants align focus on the same things at the same time
  • Diverse opinions are welcome
  • Thinking together on shared concerns
  • Listening and hearing
  • Productive meetings energise participants
Thames Valley Housing (TVH) is a high performing, award winning housing authority. Like many organisations their management meetings had become stale, and a new director, and previous ProMeet client, bought Sean in to facilitate a management team meeting. The aim was to experience a different meeting method, and evaluate if TVH should adopt ProMeet more widely.

The participants thought the ProMeet management meeting was more participative and more productive than the more traditional model of meeting. ProMeet then trained thirty five of the most senior leaders how to run ProMeetings, and provided ProMeet tools for the main meeting rooms at TVH.
Watch a 3 minute video of TVH talking about their experience with ProMeet.
Fit My Video Tag
Results

Thames Valley Housing's organisation wide adoption of ProMeet is an excellent indicator of the value a high performing team place on a the ProMeet tools and methods.
Recommendation
Jayne Hilditch
"Sean is an unusual evangelist. An evangelist about *meetings* I thought this was just too weird until I saw him in action. He's awesome.

His underlying belief is that humans do great work when they come together. But somehow when that "coming together" takes the form of a "meeting" often goes wrong.

But he can help you fix that, so meetings become transformational for both organisations and participants.

Sean can facilitate meetings and workshops, but more significantly can pass on his techniques and tools so you learn to do it better yourself.

Pro-Meet has stood the test of time. Our best meetings are ones that stick to Pro-Meet principles and use the Pro-Meet tools.

Highly recommended. And that's from someone who started out as sceptic!”

Jayne Hilditch
Corporate Services Director
Working and learning better together.

The day-to-day leadership and management meetings can brilliant. We've found that after facilitating awaydays and workshops we get asked to help bring the same energy, participation, order, action orientation and learning to the regular management meetings as people experience in our awaydays and workshops.

This is often the first step organisations taking in adopting ProMeet, learning though doing combined with
executive development support. Find out more about how Thames Valley Housing bought its management meetings to life. Contact Sean to discuss your next important meeting.
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Teram Meeting BHASVIC

Meeting culture and team effectiveness

A senior management team want to develop mutual trust, respect and support. See more>
Facilitation of:
Culture change
Duration:
11 sessions over 6 months
Number of participants:
7

Learning to hear each other

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A high performing team becomes a happy team

Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) is a college in England for 16 to 19 year-old students. BHASVIC was the first college in the country to be awarded a grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED in 2012-13 and remains one of the very top performing sixth form colleges in England today.

The BHASVIC senior management team (SMT) sought support from ProMeet founder Sean Blair to help improve the culture of SMT meetings and develop not only an already high performing team, but also create a nourishing and respectful team life.

Over a period of six months the team learnt how to use ProMeet
tools and methods and understand ‘team-life’ as it showed up, for good and bad in day-to-day meetings.

By learning how to bring inquiry into the daily practice of working-together team members explored and enlivened the values and positive behaviours the team wanted and needed to achieve its vision of being a happy, productive and respectful team.
Results

At the outset, the team evaluated its current reality using a simple assessment framework. Six months later the team assessed significant improvement towards having developed a team (not group) identity. By using time working-together to learn, members were able to understand better the impact and unintended consequences of habitual behaviours on each other.

Ultimately, by learning to listen to each other through
dialogue, team members reported ‘fundamental’ change.
Recommendation
Chris
Working with Sean has been a transformational experience for the Senior Management Team at BHASVIC.

We have had conversations together and have made progress of a kind that we cannot imagine would ever have been possible without his skilled and committed help.

Sean has expertly facilitated a quite fundamental change in the way we think about ourselves and the way we conduct business that is having a positive effect throughout the College and not only within the SMT. We're enormously grateful to him!


Chris Thomson
Principal at Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College
The subtle art of change

Change takes time. But more significantly change requires people to increase self awareness to understand the impact they have on each other over time.

Change takes practice. The practice of listening, hearing and being open to developing the ability to explore ones own unexamined ideas and prejudices to understanding oneself differently.

The team at BHASVIC were open and willing to explore new ways of working, and reflecting on action, thinking and values and were brave enough to be open and true with each other.

The team was impressive before ProMeet became involved, and remarkable during our work together. The BHASVIC SMT were awarded the ProMeet client of the year in 2015. (Link to blog to be added)
RIPE

Building ingenuity

A departmental team build. See more>
Facilitation of:
A team build workshop
Duration:
3 hours
Number of participants:
33

Developing rapport and trust

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Background

Pernod Ricard is N°2 in the Wines & Spirits sector worldwide and has established itself as number one in the Premium segment. It operates in 85 countries and had 100 production sites, including the Beefeater Distillery in London. This workshop was for the UK Finance and IT team.

Workshop objective

To learn about about the strengths in our team, agile imagination and being ingenious in leading change.
Recommendation
Sunny
After searching online for team building sessions we could adopt for our Finance/IT awayday, I found Sean's Lego working session.

Having initially been less keen on using Lego, I picked up the phone to Sean to find out more. Sean thoroughly explained the session to me and how it catered to the requirements we wanted to achieve by the end.

One of my biggest gripes with any workshop is keeping the attention of everyone participating. However, with Sean's session we could have easily gone on without anyone starting to lose momentum.

The whole session was action orientated and it helped us to bond as a team.

Sean provided us with a thorough set of workshop outputs which our senior management can now utilise and implement the ideas we created within our teams.

I highly recommend Sean.

Sundeep Bhardwaj
Commercial Analyst
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Planning-meeting-Oliver-Bonas

Planning meeting

Oliver Bonas are a UK high street retailer. Approaching their year end 'golden quarter', the operations team needed a clear three month plan of action to ensure targets were met. See more>
Facilitation of:
A half day planning meeting
Duration:
4 hours
Number of participants:
8

In great shape for the 'golden quarter'

  • Clear meeting objectives and a process by which to achieve them
  • Small groups plan shared responsibilities
  • Planning together
  • Thinking together in teams
  • Recording accountabilities
  • Clarify actions that happen as a result of the meeting
Many high street retailers consider Q4 the golden quarter. It's the busiest time of the year, and and there are many things that need to happen to ensure the opportunity is fully harnessed.

To help ensure Oliver Bonas hit its year end targets the operations team spent four hours planning to ensure all team members have a clarity on who needed to do what by when.
Results

Vital Q3 objectives clarified.

3 month action plan, for every vital and important business objective.

Dependencies with other departments identified, and actions planned.
Recommendation
Cecily Mills
“ProMeet is an extremely effective meeting system that enabled us to get straight to the point and action plan key objectives to deliver our strategic plan.

Sean’s facilitation was second to none; he was certain to understand about our company and values and tailored his approach in exactly the right way.

Sean is professional, courteous and was totally dedicated to helping get the results we wanted from the meeting. For anyone who wants to get the most out of their meetings I highly recommend working with Sean.”

Cecily Mills
Oliver Bonas
Planning - a core ProMeet competency

Business planning, strategy planning and project planning are one of the most common kinds of assignment we are asked to facilitate. Clients say that they like the orderly and visual approach we bring to this kind of work, and participants report that they feel heard during ProMeetings. In some cases organisations go on to adopt ProMeet as the way they run meetings every day. We are happy to pass on the tools and skills to clients and other facilitators.

Contact Sean to discuss how to get commitment to your organisations plans with the participative ProMeet method.
Future Learn

Team vision and behaviours

A detailed Lego® Serious Play® team build case study. Building a stronger team. See more>
Facilitation of:
A team meeting
Duration:
4 hours
Number of participants:
12

A detailed Lego® Serious Play® case study

This detailed case study has been made available with the kind permission of Future Learn.
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Objectives and Process

Working together, Future Learn and ProMeet, established the overarching workshop objective as:
“To create a stronger team with a clear picture of our team vision and understanding on positive and negative behaviours needed to realise our team vision”.

This objective, and the selection of Lego Serious Play as the primary workshop tool translated into an agenda or workshop process of these eight steps:


To give participants LSP skills.

To share with each other how we see ourselves at work today.

To share more of ourselves with each other.

To understand how others see us.

To build a model of a vision the team has for itself in 12 months.

To build a shared model of a vision the team has for itself in 12 months.

To identify the behaviours that will help realise the vision.

To identify the behaviours that will get in the way of realising the vision.
Results

The first set of results were feedback to each other on leadership strengths. These were built in models, and summarised on gridcards. We took photos of people with their feedback models.

Next, participants developed a shared vision of their team within the wider context of both their organisation and the competitive landscape. By telling the story of the vision, (and recording videos of the story being told) participants are able to understand the different meanings and nuances in individual understanding of the vision.

Then using the shared vision the team built models to identify and discuss positive and negative behaviours that would enable or inhibit the realisation of the vision.
Vision model (without narrative)
  • A warm up task. Draw how you see export today
  • Who
  • Building visions of export success
  • Building visions of export success - 2
Detail photos of vision model (without narrative)
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Postive and negative behaviours
  • Brave
  • Trusting
  • Open
  • Creative
  • Closed
  • Untrusting
  • Busy
Recommendation
Judith
"Sean organised and delivered a brilliant workshop.

Even the tiniest detail has been carefully thought through. We had fun and came out of the day with important learning.”

Rita Fevereiro
Marketing Manager
FutureLearn
Acknowledgement and thanks.

Future Learn, a brilliant organisation that offers a diverse range of courses from 83 leading education providers have kindly allowed us to provide this detailed case study to illustrate Lego Serious Play in action. Thanks Future Learn!

You can also read an
excellent write up of this case study on Rita Feverito’s Linked in pulse feed.
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LCC

Timetabling review meeting

London College of Communication use Lego Serious Play to explore a complex system. The aim: to discover what is and isn’t working and what can be done better. See more>
Facilitation of:
A process review meeting
Duration:
3 hours
Number of participants:
8

Getting insight into a complex system

  • Lego Serious play warm up exercise
  • Lego Serious play warm up exercise 2
  • Beginning to build the system model
  • Understanding the parts of the process
  • Inspecting the data model
  • The gates are open model
  • Detail from process model
This case study was largely created using the content of a post written by project manager Nicky Riley that appeared on the SeriousPlayPro website. Reproduced with kind permission.

Academic and Timetabling colleagues at LCC used Lego Serious Play to explore the complex system that is timetabling. Using Lego to build models and share understanding of timetabling from different perspectives, the group explored what is and isn’t working in relation to timetabling and what we could be doing better.
Results

The shared model highlighted five root cause problems in the current timetabling system. These insights then yielded key recommendations about teamwork, resource allocation, decision making, student experience and opportunities to innovate.

A happy, but unintended consequence was improved relationships between academic staff and management team members, as working together to map the system in Lego, had given them a better understanding of each others perspectives.

“I thought LEGO Serious play was a remarkably adult way of getting together to discuss issues and problems”. Conversely meetings using post-it notes and flip charts seem to infantilise by comparison.”

Participant: Adrian Crookes
Recommendation
Nicky Riley
"The great thing about Lego Serious Play in this context was that it allowed the group to have an adult conversation about the timetabling system without judgement or blame on individuals or groups of staff.

The group remained focused on exploring the issues and employing creative problem solving to identify areas for improvement."


Nicky Riley
Project Manager
Lego Serious Play Process Idea: A group memory game

At three hours, this was a short and ambitious meeting. Accordingly we went though short fast rounds of building models to represent parts of the system that worked well and did not. You'll see in the photos above that initially we made written cards to go with each of the models.

Then before we started landscaping the individual models into a system model, we played a memory game, where each participant took it in turns to name each model as the cards were slowly removed.

In less than 10 minutes all participants were able to remember the 24 different system components. This game was a quick, fun and effective way to help build collective memory.
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Project-planning-meeting-Nokia

Project meetings

Nokia Siemens Networks create a segmented 'persona driven' 12 month intranet development plan in a workshop that included video conference participation. See more>
Facilitation of:
A European working group and their design agency
Duration:
1 days
Number of participants:
8

Planning in physical and virtual meetings

  • Clear objectives and be specific!
  • Joined by overseas participants by video conference
  • Requirements mapping
  • A happy client
Intranets and websites need on-going development. This ProMeet workshop bought together the key European Nokia Siemens networks staff with their web design agency to create a commonly understood, user centred 12 month development plan.

The ProMeet wallchart and gridcard system helped the team co-create a plan all could see, question, probe and understand. As with all ProMeetings, the outputs are photographed and the gridcards scanned to create an easy to share record of the decisions, plans and actions established during the meeting.
Results

Overarching business objectives clarified.

Customers segmented into key persona groups with each sets needs established.

A co-created 12 month plan, with time based key milestones established on gridcards.

Individual action plans for each team member for next three months.
Recommendation
Graham Honeywill
“The ProMeet team were able to successfully plan and deliver against our desired outcomes in a workshop that had technical, cultural and subject matter complexities built in (including video-conferencing).

The process they brought to the meeting was able to be adapted to fit our needs and the facilitation was both focussed and flexible."


Graham Honeywill
Head of Online Marketing & Tools
Planning - a core ProMeet competency

Business planning, strategy planning and project planning are one of the most common kinds of assignment we are asked to facilitate. Clients say that they like the orderly and visual approach we bring to this kind of work, and participants report that they feel heard during ProMeetings. In some cases organisations go on to adopt ProMeet as the way they run meetings every day. We are happy to pass on the tools and skills to clients and other facilitators.

Contact Sean to discuss how to get commitment to your organisations plans with the participative ProMeet method.
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Board-meeting-Arts-Club

Board meetings

A new chairman begins his term at the The Arts Club London by inviting the board members to sharpen vision and strategy. See more>
Facilitation of:
A board meeting
Duration:
5 hours
Number of participants:
10

Onboarding new board members

  • Exploring strengths and weaknesses
  • Reviewing the data
  • Recording and posting the important points
  • Developing strategic objectives
As part of its normal cycle of governance change, the Arts Club had a new chairman and board members. The new chairman invited ProMeet to facilitate the new board to take a fresh look at the organisations vision and strategy.
Results

Participants created a shared vision and agreed the six most important strategic objectives to help realise the vision.

Each strategic objective had a prioritised implementation action plan.
Recommendation
Brian Clivaz
“ProMeet took a group of executives from diverse backgrounds many of whom had never met before and managed to meld them into a cohesive board within a few hours using the specially devised ProMeet system.

The resultant strategy will enable us to rapidly move forward within the business.
I can highly recommend them to you.”

Brian Clivaz
Chief Executive - Arts Club
Governance experience.

Sean Blair has served on five boards. The Business Link accreditation advisory board, the mayor for London's creative industries commission, the RSA council and the RSA Trustees and the council of the Design Council. With extensive experience of being a board member, Sean has an innate understanding of the culture of boards, and is able to work with chairs and members creatively and sensitively whilst maintaining focussed attention on the strategic priorities.
© 2012 ProMeet - Professional Meeting Facilitation
Landline - +44 207 687 0089
Mobile - +44 7802 773307
Email - Sean@ProMeet.co.uk
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