Meeting Tool Selection

There is a wide range of meeting tools available, which support the achievement of a host of different purposes within a meeting. So much so, that for people newly starting on this route, the options can appear overwhelming, and it is not uncommon for people who encounter this to ‘put it in the too-difficult box’ and simply ignore the massive potential that is available through these tools.
The reality is, there are a vast number of options, but you can make a large amount of progress with just a few of them – a starter set if you will – which together cover practically everything you are likely to need.
The diagram below has been created to help people to think through which of these tools will help them deliver what they are seeking to achieve in their meeting.
Using the chart is relatively simple – decide what it is that you are trying to achieve in a particular part of your meeting. Find this in the items down the left hand side of the chart (these should cover everything participative that you are likely to want to achieve in a meeting – see The Purpose of Meetings). Then look along the row to identify which of our short list of tools have something to contribute to this part of your meeting.
Then, use this links below to research the various tools highlighted, and to think through which specific templates you may need, and the best way to use them.
Further guidance on how to design your meeting, and the importance of these various elements can be found in Meeting by Design, which is available free of charge to clinic subscribers.
Meeting Tool List:
  • SWOT Analysis  : Enables people to gain an overview of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats within a situation.
  • Hopes & Concerns  : Provides an opportunity to voice the emotional cues that pertain to the risks and opportunities in a situation.
  • Card Sort  : Enables people to highlight and sequence ideas, concerns, strategies, issues that relate to the problem or the solution.
  • 6 Thinking Hats  : Provides a structured way for a group of people to articulate all of the factors pertaining to a situation.
  • Cause and Effect Fishbone (Ishikawa)  : Enables people to rigorously explore the contributing factors and causes of a problem.
  • Kipling List  : Provide a 6 point checklist which is useful for rigorous planning of action, or reviewing where such action went wrong.
  • Affinity Diagram  : A suprisingly effective means for engaging a group of people in grouping a large set of ideas or perspectives.
  • Creativity Tools  : A set of tools which push people outside of establish thinking patterns to take new perspectives on a situation.
  • Matrix Diagram  : A useful tool for understanding and planning the relationships between two things: e.g. objectives & actions.
  • Clothesline  : A tool for building consensus and insight around setting a target or aspiration for what is to be achieved.
  • Impact/Ease Grid  : A simple means for helping to prioritise a set of alternative actions/solutions based on likely effort & outcomes.
  • Force-Field Analysis  : A tool for exploring people’s motivations both for current behaviour, and for adopting new behaviours.
  • Planning Chart  : A tool for laying out all of the actions that need to take place, and for scheduling a timetable around them.
  • WWW/AFI (Meeting) Review  : A tool for reviewing the effectiveness of one meeting with the intention of improving others.
  • Brainstorming : A tool for generating a large volume of ideas or perspectives quickly. Can be structured to improve quality.

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