January 5, 2021

Supercharge Your Virtual Meetings With GTD (Video Podcast)

Productivity experts Todd Brown and Robert Peake discuss how you can supercharge your virtual meetings with GTD®.

read time:

watch time:

Supercharge Your Virtual Meetings With GTD (Video Podcast)

Interview multiple candidates

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit proin mi pellentesque  lorem turpis feugiat non sed sed sed aliquam lectus sodales gravida turpis maassa odio faucibus accumsan turpis nulla tellus purus ut   cursus lorem  in pellentesque risus turpis eget quam eu nunc sed diam.

Search for the right experience

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit proin mi pellentesque  lorem turpis feugiat non sed sed sed aliquam lectus sodales gravida turpis maassa odio.

  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  2. Porttitor nibh est vulputate vitae sem vitae.
  3. Netus vestibulum dignissim scelerisque vitae.
  4. Amet tellus nisl risus lorem vulputate velit eget.

Ask for past work examples & results

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit consectetur in proin mattis enim posuere maecenas non magna mauris, feugiat montes, porttitor eget nulla id id.

  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.
  • Netus vestibulum dignissim scelerisque vitae.
  • Porttitor nibh est vulputate vitae sem vitae.
  • Amet tellus nisl risus lorem vulputate velit eget.
Vet candidates & ask for past references before hiring

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit ut suspendisse convallis enim tincidunt nunc condimentum facilisi accumsan tempor donec dolor malesuada vestibulum in sed sed morbi accumsan tristique turpis vivamus non velit euismod.

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit nunc gravida purus urna, ipsum eu morbi in enim”
Once you hire them, give them access for all tools & resources for success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit ut suspendisse convallis enim tincidunt nunc condimentum facilisi accumsan tempor donec dolor malesuada vestibulum in sed sed morbi accumsan tristique turpis vivamus non velit euismod.


0:00:05.3 Robert Peake: So welcome everyone to another Change Your Game with GTD Podcast. My name’s Robert Peake, I’m here with Todd Brown.

0:00:12.0 Todd Brown: Hello everybody.

0:00:13.5 RP: Hey Todd. So, once again, the purpose of this podcast series is to help you understand how the Getting Things Done, GTD methodology, can support you in getting more done, but also having more focus, less stress, being present, and I think the fundamental experience that I go for and encourage others to go for in GTD is that sense that you can trust your choices, moment to moment. And that, I think, is a big key to understanding whether you are being productive in the true sense of the word, in the sense of kind of living and fulfilling your best potential and your life, both in life and in work, so that’s what we’re always aiming for here, and our conversations range pretty widely, as you can imagine, around that topic, and one of the big ones that seems to be really up for a lot of people, we were talking just beforehand about this, is these meetings and virtual meetings in particular, because we’re so… I joke that I live in these little boxes like Hollywood Squares or The Brady Bunch, if you’re American or I think there’s some equivalence here in the UK, but it just…

0:01:23.4 RP: It feels like life, life is in boxes right now. So if you gotta be in lots of these meetings, and if these meetings are in some ways a little more stressful perhaps than being in-person and being able to read a lot more people’s body language and at least have consistent backgrounds, right. You’re not just trying to figure out, “What’s that? Is that their kitchen? Is that their office?” If you gotta be these in meetings you might as well make them as effective as possible. So we’re gonna talk a little bit today about meeting effectiveness in the era of lots and lots of virtual and digital meetings, on Zoom and Teams and those kinds of things. Todd, do you wanna kick us off maybe with some of what you’re seeing out there with people in terms of how they’re doing meetings and what’s working, what’s not, what you see and might recommend to people if they came to you and said, “Our meetings just aren’t… And we know it, we don’t know why, but our meetings just aren’t as effective as they could be”, what are your thoughts?

0:02:18.7 TB: Well, yeah I think a really interesting fundamental question for any meeting is, “Why are we here?” And I think for an awful lot of people, and for an awful lot of meetings, the reason is “The reason that we’re here in this meeting this week, ’cause we have this meeting every week, and we’ve had this meeting every week for the last two years, and the cast of characters hasn’t really changed much. So that’s why we’re here.” Okay, so I think it never hurts to ask the fundamental question “What’s the purpose of this meeting?” And you can think about the purpose, I suppose, really in two ways: You can think about the purpose in terms of the bigger picture, if it is in fact an ongoing meeting, it’s a regular meeting, then why is it a regular meeting, what’s its purpose in the long-term? And then thinking about that purpose question in a little bit more of a micro way, “Why are we here today?” I think is another interesting question, and this is where a nice little overlap with the GTD language around desired outcomes becomes, I think, very helpful. So people can say at the beginning of a meeting… Some of the best meetings that I’m taking part in, it’s very clear to people “What does ‘done’ look like today?”, right?

0:03:33.3 TB: So, “This meeting will be complete when what?” And you can either… You can make that happen, you can come to that agreement in a number of different ways, you can do it in advance of the meeting, if that’s appropriate, you can do it on the day, you can do a mix. So if there’s sort of… I had a meeting on Wednesday morning this week with the German trainer community. And we had a couple of topics that we knew that those were gonna be things we were gonna wanna discuss, but then there was also some flexible time where people could bring up other topics that they thought were important. So again, it could be a little bit of a mix, but I think at some point you need to be clear in the meeting, “What does ‘done’ look like?”, right? So yeah, those are some initial thoughts, what’s on your radar about all this, what have your experiences been?

0:04:22.8 RP: I think that’s a great point, and a great place to start is at the beginning. A very good place to start, obviously, that we think about what is the desired outcome, and I’ve had some clients rather effectively implement almost kind of a policy in their world, particularly senior people, where they say, “Look, I’m not gonna accept the meeting until you tell me what the desired outcome is here. You don’t have to give me a long formal agenda. We don’t have to know exactly how it’s gonna go in advance, but you need to tell me what you wanna get out of this meeting. Is it to inform people? Is it to make a particular decision, is it to get buy-in, why are we doing this before we even put it in the calendar?” And I thought that was interesting, and they’ve reported that that’s actually been pretty effective for them, that rather than, “I bet you’re wondering why I called you here today”, they say, “Look, here’s why we’re all meeting”, right in the invitation. So I thought that was great. Totally agree with you about deciding when this thing will be done based on in terms of the outcome, and I think there’s really two possibilities. One, you run out of time and you’re very likely to have that happen if you don’t have an outcome. Or two, you get there, and potentially you get there early. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

0:05:43.7 RP: So I’ve seen people use what we call “ragged time” as well, as a way to try to just give themselves some breathing room in their own calendars. A lot of people I’m working with lately have back-to-backs. And you can imagine back-to back Zooms, a lot of what’s going on now is I think people are saying, “Well, you don’t need travel time, it’s all the same, we just completely back-to-back them”, and of course, in my world, back-to-back meetings are a little rude, because you’re basically sub-optimizing the end of one and the beginning of another, and you’re guaranteeing you’re gonna be late, at least a couple of minutes late. And to me, being on time is pretty important. I have respect for everyone. And by the way, the only way to be on time is to be comfortable being a little bit early, you gotta aim for early if you’re gonna show up on time.

0:06:30.0 RP: So “ragged time” means like 25 or 55-minute meetings, because often meetings just fill the available spaces, as you know, but I love the idea of being totally willing to end early. I’ve had seminars even where we ended five minutes early, and some part of me as a seminar leader is going, “Oh, you know, aren’t they paying me to fill up every moment of time?” and the answer is “No, they’re paying me for an outcome”, that’s what we’re going toward, if they can get five minutes back to go and grab a cup of tea and an apple before their next meeting that works really well for everyone. So being willing, I think, to end early, if the outcome is achieved, I think is another big one.

0:07:14.9 RP: But as you and I know, coming away with projects and actions too is super, super important. So I’m curious if any of that sparks any kind of intersection with how we’ve been doing meetings. I think we’ve been doing meetings pretty effectively, and I don’t think we’re just patting each other and ourselves on the back when we say that, I think the general agreement is “Yeah, they’re pretty short, sharp and focused.” We actually look forward to getting roadblocks and impediments busted through and getting on, and back to our list and back to doing. So we look forward to the meetings as a means to progressing things, I think often. So, any thoughts on stuff maybe we could raid or kind of deconstruct from what we’ve been doing to help others have more effective meetings?

0:08:05.3 TB: Yeah, and again, I think… I agree with you, I think about the meetings that we have at Next Action Associates, and I compare those to the meetings that I used to have in my previous career, in very large corporate organizations for example, and some medium organizations. And I agree with you, they are much, much more effective, there’s much less ambiguity, there’s much more of a sort of sense of… We don’t have any heroic leaders in the room who are sort of the people who are making all the decisions, we have… There’s a lot of input from a lot of different people. Everybody feels as though their voice is heard.

0:08:43.0 TB: And it might be helpful for me to just very quickly or do an overview, if you will, for our regular meetings. So I’m talking about our team meetings. Now, we’re a virtual organization, we do have people that are dotted a bit all over the world. And so we do tend to get together virtually most times. Sometimes… Well, pre-Corona, it was also the case that we would have a bunch of people in a room and then possibly some other people joining us remotely. But the basic outline of the meeting is that we’ll do around to check-ins, and the idea behind a check-in is simply 30 seconds, whatever it is, what’s on in your mind, what’s been happening for you in the last little while, the wording we use is, “Hey, if you were to express it, what would help you to be more fully present in the room?” It might be that you decide, “Hey, there’s something that’s on my mind, it feels a bit worrying”, and you want to express that, or maybe you’re celebrating something or whatever, so everybody does a round a check-ins.

0:09:38.3 TB: We follow that then with what we call “stats”. And in stats what we’re doing is we’re going through a review of things that we agree that we’re going to look at every meeting, okay? So they might be sales results and sales projections, they might be the… What are the enrollment rates for the public seminars that are coming up, what are the financial results that we’ve had from the finance function over the last little while. So we have these things that we just agree, “Hey, it’s valuable for everybody to have a look at these on a regular basis. And we go through them, okay? And it’s probably, max, three or four minutes for each thing, it’s not a hugely deep dive, but at least everybody then has a sense of what the core data looks like. We then do a review of the last meeting’s projects and next actions, so it’s the job of somebody in each meeting to keep track as we’re making our way through the meeting what’s decided about, “Okay, what are the projects we’ve agreed are gonna happen and who’s got them?” And, again, if it’s appropriate, what are the next actions and who’s got them.

0:10:57.8 TB: And those are documented in a pretty straightforward, just sort of a Word table. And we go through those. Okay, everybody gets a chance for a quick update, if somebody’s got a project and they committed to that project, they’ll give us a quick update, “Yeah it’s done” or “It’s not quite done and I’ve got some issues”, whatever. But it’s a quick sort of twirl through all of that so that we’re all clear “The things that we agreed in the last meeting, where are they?” And then, and this is the bit that I think that… I really enjoy this a lot, and I think it, again, goes back to the point that everybody has a voice in our meetings, what we do is we do what we call “dynamic agenda creation”, and what we mean by that is everybody can specify a topic. It could be anything, it could be, “I think we should all have uniforms and name tags.” I’m just making it up. I’d never thought about that, Robert, maybe we should consider that. Or it could be, “Hey, I really think that this thing we did on this project was not aligned with our strategy, that feels wrong to me and we should talk about it.”

0:12:03.0 TB: So this is a chance for everybody to get out on the table the things that they want to discuss. And then, and this is the thing that I think as I talk to clients about the way that we manage these things, the next thing I think is a surprise to a lot of people. We then take the number of topics that we have, so let’s say it’s 10 topics, right? And we divide the amount of time that we have left in the meeting so that all of those topics… So that we know, maximum, how much time does each of those topics get. So we just divide it evenly. Now, we’re flexible with it, right? So it could be that something ends up taking taking 30 seconds to just… Someone gives a quick update or someone has a question. So it’s not as though it’s terribly rigid, but we do have somebody in the meeting who’s keeping time and making sure that we’re not going wildly over so that we can all be aware that we wanna make sure that we get all of the topics out on the table. And it’s funny, as I thought about that when we first started to do it, I thought it feels a little bit inconsistent to say that all of these topics, regardless of the level of strategic nature or tactical nature, should get the same amount of time.

0:13:13.4 TB: But what I’ve found that that really does instill is a discipline that says “All of this is gonna get discussed by the end of the day.” So again, back to the point of “Everybody’s got a voice”, no one’s gonna walk out of the meeting without their topic being discussed, and I think that that confidence really does bring something to the table. And I’ll just say one more thing, if there is a big topic, and let’s say we have 10 minutes per topic, I’ll just pick a number, and we get to the end of those 10 minutes and it’s really clear that we’re not there, we… One possibility, by the way, after those 10 minutes is somebody has got a project, the project could be “Go away and look into this more fundamentally and come back to the group and report”, it could be. But sometimes what will happen is then we’ll just decide, “Hey, you know what we need to do here, we need to set up a separate meeting which will be dedicated to that topic, and that does happen. Reasonably frequently.

0:14:03.0 TB: So we go through all of the agendas, okay, and at the end we have around a check-outs and we’re done. So yeah, I hope I’ve done that justice. I’m interested… You’ve obviously been been in these meetings as well, I’m interested what you might highlight or what you might think I left out or under or over-emphasized. What’s your take on it?

0:14:21.5 RP: No, I think that’s great, and that definitely has been my experience. And just reflecting on it, I think maybe one of them… That we are, in fact, enthusiastic about meetings rather than some people sort of dread and get meeting fatigue, is that we do all get our issues addressed in some way. And like you said, I think some people find it amazing that we scale the time that way, but again, it’s really just a notification, “Hey, we’ve reached the eight-minute mark”, certainly we can do what we want with that, and as you say, in all cases, saying, “Okay, someone owns this project to go away and get more information, do more research, schedule a follow-up meeting with the correct players rather than the whole team” is an option to get that one handled and move on to the next one. So in a funny way it’s almost like inbox processing, we’ve just created a group mind sweep. The group mind sweep, then we pick through. But it’s not actually a mind sweep, just to be clear, so this is what we do as a regular practice, our regular meeting where we get kinda everything handled that the whole group needs.

0:15:27.2 RP: And so for that I have an agenda list for the all team, the all-hands all-team meeting, and I’m always thinking, “Is this a topic where actually I need to discuss this with the whole team?” That’s what goes on that agenda, that’s what ends up in the meetings. So part of this too is I’m not gonna put an agenda item, that I just need to talk to Todd about on the all-team meeting. And I’ve seen that a lot. I’ve seen big company meetings where someone really just is talking to one or two other people, and that could have been a breakout rather than taking the whole group’s time. So in advance, we’re thinking about what is the appropriate regularly scheduled meeting that this agenda item belongs in? “I feel like it needs face time, I feel like it needs discussion. Do I need alignment from everyone, do I just need alignment from a group, can it be handled as an email?” So upfront, already I think we’re very much starting to parse and think about making those meetings effective when they happen by using GTD, and in particular by using that agendas list.

0:16:24.9 RP: Now, as I mentioned, this is our routine meeting, you and I, just to debrief a couple of one-to-ones, you and I had a meeting earlier this week, last week, where it was very clear what the agenda was, you’d set up the meeting through your system, and it said right there, “Review rules”, so I knew that we were gonna go in, review the roles, the desired outcome of the meeting was to make sure we were aligned on my role set for the organization, in advance of the big end-of-year meeting that we’re having next week. So that was very clear, we knew exactly what the outcome was, we got into it, we got it almost all done, and there was one item where I took away where I said, “Okay, I’m gonna do some more clarification around this particular role and get it and get it back to you.” So we went away with next actions and achieved as much of the outcome as we could with the two of us there. Prior to that, I had a meeting with Ed, the previous week, our senior partner, and there he and I just collected agenda items.

0:17:26.9 RP: So it really was just, “Here’s my Ed list”, and Ed said, “Here’s my Robert list.” And we said, “Right, let’s just jump through them in the allotted time.” And the purpose there was just to raise the item, talk it through, potentially pull away a next action, and we did. He pulled away some next actions to go and do some drafts of things, I took away some next actions to do some things for him. We checked in on our “waiting fors”, dynamically, just to see, “Hey, is there anything that’s been out for a while?” And then we went our separate ways. So there’s different kinds of meetings, there’s those with very specific outcomes, there’s one-to-ones with a lot of different agendas, and then there’s, as you say, this big… This team or regularly scheduled larger group meeting, all of which have a slightly different flavor, but I guess the thing I’m noticing as I kinda talk it out is that the agendas list is so important for setting those meeting up meetings up to be successful, in terms of bringing the right things to the right meeting in the first place. And I think so many meetings get derailed because it’s not really a topic for the whole group, or it’s not really appropriate or it just happens to be on someone’s mind in the moment in that meeting and suddenly you get off on talking about that thing. So I think doing the work in advance and everyone doing that work in advance is a big factor in all of this. I don’t know, what do you think?

0:18:46.9 TB: Yeah, I think that’s right. I think the agendas lists and the waiting-for lists, I think whether it’s a one-on-one or whether it’s a larger team meeting, I think can be really helpful ways for us to make sure that, again, we stay on purpose and we get the most out of the time we spend in the meetings. I think… Yeah, it occurs to me that I should also probably talk about what happens after the meeting. So, going back to our regular meeting that I gave the outline for earlier, we do document the results of the meeting, so everybody gets that Word table I was talking about, all filled out, with “Here are all the projects that were agreed, here were all the next actions that we agreed.” So, again, no ambiguity. And also a great way after the meeting is over for me to go back and just make sure, “Have I got all of the next actions and projects that I got reflected in my system?” so that I’m gonna make progress toward them in the next little while. People who are familiar with GTD and listening to you talk about the kinds of meetings that you have had over the last little while, I think will recognize the conversation that you had with me was, with my managing partner had on one of the things that I look after, is “Who does what in the organization?” And so the conversations we were having was a conversation about…

0:20:13.0 TB: In the horizons of focus model, so the six-layer model, that was at the “areas of focus” level. So that was a conversation about what are you responsible for on an ongoing basis, in terms of your roles?” Whereas the conversation you had with Ed, it sounds like it was more a tactical, it was more of a kind of a, “Hey, these are the kinds of things that I’ve got going on. Not that some of those things might not have had strategic importance, but it wasn’t about “What role do you have?” it was about “What’s going on for you… ” and I as for Ed with his roles, primarily sales-focused and that part of his world, “What does that look like, in terms of what he’s doing?” and you guys syncing up on those things, right? So the two meetings, again, back to your point, different purposes, right, very different purposes, but because we were in agreement up front about what they were about they can just un-spool much, much more effectively and efficiently.

0:21:17.5 RP: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. As I’m listening to you talk I’m wondering if there’s anything particularly different or unique about the fact that we’re all meeting very much remotely these days, or largely remotely, in relation to the GTD model and on first skim of what we’re doing I think a lot of what we were doing was documenting electronically, using electronic systems to support our pre-meeting hygiene, if you like, in relation to agendas and waiting fors. Using the digital tools so that we have as much offline access to the information about what’s either happening before or after the meeting already. So I’m not sure a lot has changed in terms of the best practices, other than obvious things like get up and stretch and don’t leave your camera on if you’re doing something that you don’t want to be appearing in the meeting, and tidy up your background a little. I’m not sure that there’s a lot fundamentally different. I don’t know. What do you think in terms of have things felt different for you or if any of your practices changed in relation to the digital meeting proliferation these days?

0:22:34.4 TB: Yeah, I think it’s interesting, in talking to people I get a variety of reactions. Some people actually quite enjoy it, they feel… I was saying the other day, maybe we need… It’s probably some variation of this idea of introversion versus extroversion, but some people work in a Zoom world more comfortably, right? There are people out there who say actually… And sometimes they say it because they have a lot of colleagues who are talking a lot about being fed up with Zoom meetings, so they talk about it maybe quietly, but some people actually are reasonably happy, as it were, being more or less forced to work from home, if they can, obviously. So yeah, that’s not unusual in my experience. So I don’t think it’s necessarily a net negative for everybody. That said, a couple of things that I’ve found work, be as interactive as you can be, right? And I know, for example, you do a lot of online seminar work, as well as coaching work, and I know one of the things that you do really well is making sure that you’re using the tools that are available to make sure that people are interacting as much as possible, right, so that you’re keeping their focus.

0:24:00.5 TB: And I love something that you mentioned a couple of months ago now, I think, and I use now in the seminars that I do online, is you ask people at the beginning of the seminar in the chat function to do things like say hello in their native language or to type in the name of their favorite dessert or something. So you just get them started. Well, very practically, you make sure they’ve got the chat window open, right? That’s important, but you also get them started in interacting in that way. And I think that’s really important, as soon as it starts to become lecture… You can sort of tell, can’t you, or you have your suspicions when somebody is… They’ve got their eyes to the camera maybe, or slightly off, and you have the sense that maybe with half an eye, they’re also browsing the web or quietly typing email or doing something. So you wanna make sure, as far as possible, that you’re keeping their focus.

0:25:00.0 TB: And by the way, going back to what we said at the beginning of this session, to the extent that it’s clear why we’re here, and to the extent that it’s clear that everybody has input, and to the extent that it’s clear that the purpose is not a mystery. You’re probably more likely to keep people’s focus, because they’re gonna be able to say, “Hey, it’s clear to me why I should be focused.” This meeting is not just sort of, “We’re in the last 10 minutes and people are talking about stuff that’s totally off-topic, and I can shut off now”, which is the experience I think of a lot of people in their meetings.

0:25:29.0 TB: So those are some quick things that come to mind, what do you recommend, reckon in terms of best practice?

0:25:34.8 RP: No, I think that’s great, and I think I haven’t thought as much about, outside of an educational context, how useful these tools can be, but I think you’re right, warm people up, get them to say something in the chat, and then as we go along potentially you can use that to raise hand or to have someone request a moment to speak. Using polls, polls can be a really fun quick way to just go, “Hey, how’s everyone doing today, one to five scale?” or whatever, whatever you want as a quick way to get people engaged. Definitely having cameras on, not tolerating a meeting culture where people take their cameras off. Unless there’s really a reason, and in which case, just pop the reason in the chat, “Hey, the kid’s crying”, or whatever, right? And most people understand that sometimes when you are in this kind of weird new world you may need to go attend to something that obviously you wouldn’t in a real meeting. So treating virtual meetings like real meetings I think is important, but also taking advantage of some of the tools, you know, some of the things you can do, like sending people very easily into a breakout room that would take several minutes to organize in terms of physical space and everything else for people to get together in smaller groups and do a brainstorm and bring it back to the larger group.

0:26:51.7 RP: But in a situation like this, at a click of a couple of buttons you’re off brainstorming one-to-one. And very often I find it’s a lot easier to interact in smaller numbers in virtual meetings. It’s just easier to deal with a couple people on screen than a massive grid of, if you like, like the… Yeah, you feel like a director or something, like you’ve got all these different windows going on. And so I think those things can help, using the tools to your advantage can actually help, and also just recognizing for some people, as you said, it is more innervating for them to be on a screen. I know people also who cover up their own face with a Post-It note, they’re tired of looking at themselves. I generally don’t look at myself. Right now… I look into the camera and I just pretend there’s a friendly person on the other side of that camera, luckily in this case it’s true, it’s Todd. But yeah, I just pretend that’s you, and as a result I’m able to actually look more… Look you in the eye as it were, even though I’m not actually looking at your image, so those are a little bit in the realm of tricks I think, or tips and tricks, but I think also it does come back to a real important GTD principle, which is understanding your own energy levels and energy management and self-management, in a lot of ways, and supporting the group, the more wide group, in those kinds of things too.

0:28:24.0 RP: And we all just need help when email’s just a click away and so much else is piling up during the meeting, you really wanna make it sharp, efficient, but also as much as possible maybe be a bit fun and interactive and interesting. So hopefully that breathes a little bit of life into meetings as well. Looks like we’re coming on time, this is a topic I think we can talk a lot about, because it is I think a real pain point for people, and I think something that we’ve investigated a lot for ourselves, about how do we really make this work, because as much as we like hanging out with each other, socially and whatever else, we’re very doing-focused in this organization. So seeing meetings, I think, as a means to getting stuff unstuck, getting stuff flowing, getting alignment, and then going off and doing. That meetings aren’t where we live, they’re one tool we have at our disposal. So wrapping up, closing up, any parting shots, parting thoughts on making meetings effective?

0:29:31.5 TB: I think… It’s funny, you and I never script things, we just sort of pick a topic and we hit record and off we go. And my sense is that we’ve hit the highlights. I guess one thought that comes to mind for me, for anyone who’s interested in doing a bit of a deeper dive into the format that I described earlier, the regular meetings that we have, I’ve sort of borrowed that from something called Holacracy, and you might wanna look into that, H-O-L-A-C-R-A-C-Y, and Holacracy is something that, again, it’s more at the organizational level and ensures that the organization is functioning properly. Over the years some people have referred to it as GTD for teams, although I thin that’s a little bit limited in terms of metaphor, but the format that we use is something that’s been taken from the tactical meeting format at Holacracy, so if you want a little bit more detail you might be able to find it there. And yeah, other than that, as I say, I’m pretty happy with what would we’ve come up with today. What are your parting thoughts?

0:30:38.5 RP: Yeah, no, I think we’ve covered a fair bit of ground and the proof of it all is always in practice, so I think if you can get people… As a starting point, if you can get people to state their desired outcomes, ideally in advance of the meeting even happening, but worst case, at the start of the meeting, if you can spend a few minutes afterward and during the meeting, documenting who said they’d what, and afterward just debriefing and making sure that’s clear, I just think you have a much better chance of that meeting having been an effective tactical meeting that gives people what they need to go work, as opposed to a nice conversation about interesting topics. And I’m amazed still at how so many [chuckle].. So many corporate meetings end up being sort of Grecian forums where you’re stroking your beard and wandering around in robes and pondering, rather than saying, “Yes, I will do that, and I will make this happen”, and so forth. So anyway, here’s hoping this was… Yeah, go ahead.

0:31:36.7 TB: I was gonna say, yeah, one of the things that is happening in the corona world is that we are all wandering around in robes more. Do you see what I mean?

0:31:42.9 RP: This is true. Robes and beards, so there you go. Maybe we’re getting back to the golden Grecian age. And maybe when we come to a meeting and we say, “Why are we all here?” maybe that goes to a more existential place these days, as certainly a lot of us have been forced to ponder bigger picture issues. But anyway, hopefully this was useful to you guys, adding a bit of levity to a topic that I think has bummed some people out, as we say in California, giving you some practical ideas. Go away, talk about it with your teams, see if other people are up for these kinds of things. The more people are doing GTD in your world, naturally, the better, I think your meetings are gonna be, thanks to agendas and waiting fors. But even if you’re the lone GTD-er out there I think you can start to drive some of this thinking into the organization to make your own life better, if nothing else. So I hope that was useful. As always, we do this as a regular podcast and we love to hear from you, so if you’d like to drop us a line, info@next-action.co.uk.

0:32:44.6 RP: We do collect these, and this one, actually the whole Zoom meeting thing, I think, came from Peter. He was talking about Zoom fatigue a while ago. So there you go. We’re still here. And it was great just to get his vote for this as a topic, so do be in touch. And if there’s anything we can do to help you with your GTD practice, obviously get in touch with us as well. If you enjoyed this be sure to subscribe, we do this podcast regularly, and our whole associate network puts out, I think, really really great content, a lot of really great colleagues talking about different aspects of GTD, and a lot of people have just found it really, really supportive to their practice. So do subscribe, do be in touch, and meanwhile from me, from Todd, go have some great meetings. We’ll see you next time.


of Fortune 100 have had some form of GTD training
years serving the UK market
UK Companies served
past participants would recommend us

Get in touch

If you’re looking to build a better foundation for clarity, focus and healthy high performance, reach out and see how we can help.

Get in touch