If You Can’t Have Fewer Meetings, Have Better Ones

If You Can’t Have Fewer Meetings, Have Better Ones

Jayme Brown
Jane Ha
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Meetings. Maybe you’re in one right now. (Are you paying attention?) Maybe you have one in ten minutes. (Are you prepared?) We know them well—and we know they’re not usually the highlight of your day. In fact, they can be quite the opposite.

At IDEO, we like to breathe new life into the mundane with design. In an effort to shape a new paradigm of meeting-dom, here are some of our best resources on making your next conference-room gathering stand out—in a good way.

1. When you want to kick things off with a bang

Stretch! Sketch! Dance! Build in a few minutes for a new opening exercise and you’ll have a team that’s fully present and ready to get down to business.

READ: 6 Ways to Kick Off Creative Meetings

2. When you have a mixed bag of introverts and extroverts

An IDEOer once called the San Francisco space an “extroverted office full of introverts.” If you have a team of folks all across that spectrum, these exercises will strike a balance between team-together-time and solitude.

READ: 5 Brainstorming Exercises for Introverts

3. When you want people to really get to know each other

Whether bringing together a brand new team or sitting down with old colleagues, a jam-packed room can make for an overwhelming and impersonal experience. Ditch the canned icebreakers and try one of these instead—any of these exercises will help reveal your group’s commonalities.

READ: 5 Exercises for Breaking Down Barriers

4. When morale needs a boost

Do any of your meetings have a jingle? Didn’t think so. Reset your whole meeting philosophy with some out-of-the-box tips.

READ: How to Design a Meeting That Doesn’t Suck

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Jayme Brown
Jayme is a writer and native New Yorker on a quest to find California’s best bagel. She loves people, in all their creative, complex, confusing glory, and San Francisco’s morning fog.
Jane Ha
Jane is an interaction designer with a notorious reputation for drowning her house plants in love. If she’s not whispering sweet nothings to her variegated rubber plant, she’s finding some other crafting hobby to obsess over, then discard shortly after.

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