Use This Easy Game Plan to Make the Most of Collaborative Meetings
Collaborative meetings are an excellent way to get different expertise, perspectives, and ideas from various organizational teams. This kind of meeting is certainly catching on: a recent Harvard study found that employees spend 50% or more of their day in collaborative activities.
But the challenge for each organization is making these meetings effective while contributing value to the overall strategy. A collaborative meeting allows key contributors from different business functions to create solutions that benefit the entire organization, so it’s worth figuring out how to make them work for you.
While you can have collaborative meetings either in person or virtually, it’s essential to structure the meeting well to get the most out of them. Read on for the best tips for structuring an effective collaborative meeting.
Make sure that it’s convenient for everyone
Schedule the meeting at a time that works for everyone. This can be a challenge because you need to be mindful of:
- Different department schedules and work hours
- Time zones if teams are global or throughout the country
- Other meetings that pull cross-functional team members
- Travel schedules
To coordinate an ideal time that’s convenient for all meeting members, leverage an effective meeting scheduler application for the entire company.
Have a clear purpose in mind
Before scheduling anything, you should have a clear goal for the meeting. Identify the driving purpose beforehand to determine if it’s necessary to bring everyone together. For example, you don’t want to take up your team’s time if the meeting is only to share information, motivate, or interact socially.
Are there better ways to communicate the information (maybe via email, forum, or chat) that won’t monopolize everyone’s time? If your meeting is to solve a problem, create or review a plan, make decisions, or delegate responsibility, you may benefit from a collaborative meeting.
A Harvard study found that 75% of cross-functional teams were dysfunctional because they couldn’t:
- Stay on budget
- Stay on schedule
- Follow project specifications
- Address customer expectations
- Align with corporate goals and strategy
To avoid these issues, create a clear agenda to share beforehand so the team can come to the meeting prepared to contribute and invested in its purpose.
Have multiple people represent different departments
If your organization has large departments or teams, you should have 2-3 representatives from each department. Not only is this easier to manage, but it also doesn’t monopolize everyone in the department.
A smaller number of people also encourages everyone to contribute because they represent the values and ideas of their entire team. This should generate active discussions where everyone can participate.
Engage with the participants
To facilitate an atmosphere where participants can innovate or think creatively, you need to create a warm and inviting environment that doesn’t feel rigid or formal. Set the tone by engaging with team members in a friendly encouraging tone.
Using an interactive whiteboard makes it easy to share, contribute, and brainstorm in a “startup” mentality that encourages innovation. Create that napkin idea on an interactive whiteboard that can capture ideas more effectively.
Encourage engagement among your audience
To lead an effective meeting, you need tools and applications that will encourage interaction. Think about ways to boost collaboration among participants where they can offer their expertise and add value to the discussions.
An effective collaborative meeting requires taking vigilant notes to capture all the contributors’ ideas and input. Not only will these notes keep track of decisions, vision, and solutions, but it creates a reference for future meetings and determining measurable tasks for participants. Using an interactive whiteboard is an easy solution for taking notes.
How an interactive whiteboard can help in your next collaborative meeting
An interactive whiteboard is an ideal tool for collaborative meetings. The whiteboard is intuitive, allowing participants to easily:
- Share and draw ideas on an unlimited canvas.
- Utilize smart objects to create easy to follow and read.
- Import documents and images for faster workflow.
- Connect across different devices for seamless collaboration.
Bring teams together with active collaboration:
You can start the meeting with an activity designed to encourage participation from your team. This activity can be fun or directed toward the project. Create mini discussions between smaller subsets of the larger meeting to drill down on specific problems or tasks.
App integrations for improved workflow:
Using an interactive whiteboard, you can integrate with other apps, documents, and images to create a shared space where participants can bounce ideas off of each other or inspire better workflow. Vibe’s interactive whiteboard integrates with over 50 popular collaboration apps such as Slack, Zoom, Canvas, Creative Cloud, and more.
Edit and annotate in real time:
During brainstorming or problem-solving meetings, you’ll want a tool that allows for dynamic editing in real time. An interactive whiteboard lets all participants edit, modify, remove, or annotate ideas that can be saved for later or shared among the team to encourage workflow outside of the meeting.
Easily access and share files with your team:
Digital whiteboards allow participants to import documents and images that can be edited, annotated, and saved as a PDF. This provides a digital record you can keep in a shared folder for people to access later for reference.
Top-notch security for information storage
Cybersecurity is a growing threat that requires constant vigilance. You’ll need to ensure proper VPNs, software, and applications are secure within your meetings. Vibe’s interactive whiteboard provides:
- Identity Management
- Data Protection
- Audit Log
- Access Control
These safeguards are essential in today’s marketplace. By integrating these tips into your next collaborative meeting, your team will improve workflow and overall effectiveness.
Vibe offers a collaborative solution combining an interactive digital whiteboard and innovative smart software. Increase engagement and efficiency at your brainstorming sessions, virtual training, and classroom sessions by integrating your favorite applications with video conferencing and an infinite, mess-free writing canvas. Collaborate today with Vibe.
Looking for the latest in interactive whiteboard technology? Check out Vibe today!