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ATD Blog

8 Ways to Add Purpose to Your Next Meeting

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

When meetings draw employees away from day-to-day tasks but fail to reach their intended outcome, it has huge costs to the organization. All too often, this happens because meetings lack purpose or are simply boring. If you’re looking for a way to create a fresh, intentional approach to meetings, check out these videos created by Rod Napier and Eli Sharp, authors of Not Just Another Meeting.

Each video outlines a specific way to design a meeting that will not only engage attendees but make the meeting more productive. Applying to wide-ranging workplace issues, these designs provide the tools to enable any gathering to solve problems, build trust, and deal with conflict. What’s more, by expanding your repertoire of what to do and how to do it, you can respond to any situation with calm, certainty, and creativity.

Check out the videos below:

The Future Search Design
This meeting design takes its name from seeking out all new possibilities for a better future by canvassing ideas from a large number of people, ranging from eight to 40, in a short amount of time.View Video

The Carousel Design
This is a simple, yet creative design for engaging up to 30 people in problem solving by seeking their answers to as many as six challenging questions.
View Video


The Collapsing Consensus
The Collapsing Consensus is an effective design for collecting and organizing ideas from a group that cleverly ensures a high degree of engagement from participants.
View Video

Executives and the Common Person
This meeting design is based on one undeniable fact: the more people feel engaged in their organizations, the better their performance will be with productivity, morale, and profit. It helps to increase engagement with people and high-level managers.
View Video


6-Step Problem Solving
This design presents an adaptable and creative means of solving a problem, while dramatically reducing the possibility of conflict in a group.
View Video

Kings, Queens, and Fairy Tales
Kings, Queens, and Fairy Tales is creative design to assess problems, have some fun, and begin the problem-solving process.
View Video

Genie in the Bottle
This meeting design is a safe way to ask for and receive feedback in a group setting.
View Video

News Conference
Getting to the heart of an issue is difficult when you don’t have all the facts. This meeting design is great for getting the truth on the table.
View Video

About the Author

Amanda Smith is the former Learning & Development Community of Practice manager at the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Her specialties include educational planning, PR/marketing, and project management. Amanda has more than 12 years of experience in the non-profit sector, developing and marketing professional development programs for the adult learner.

Amanda brings a diverse and unique perspective on program development. She has worked for companies in healthcare, foodservice, commercial real-estate, and media industries, including the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), and the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF). 

She also serves as president and spokesperson for the Alliance for Women in Media, National Capital Area Chapter (AWM-NCAC) in Washington, D.C.  She resides in the D.C. Metro area with her husband and two children.

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