Mixed meetings and mediums

For centuries, meetings have been our key mechanism for collaboration, but the nature of collaboration is changing as never before, and with it, the concept of meetings is also being transformed.

No longer are meetings confined to one event, in one place, at one time. The potential that is now available blurs the boundaries and conventional limits of what we think of as a meeting. Meetings in this new world are not so much an event as a discipline, and it is now possible to hold meetings as multiple events, in multiple places and at multiple times if required (meetings which take place at different times for different people are referred to as ‘asynchronous’) or any productive subset within that – whatever is most effective and efficient for moving things forward.

Whereas meetings were originally very much a product of the top left-hand corner of the diagram on the right, the forces at work in the world today encourage, support, and ultimately demand their (partial) migration into other areas of the chart.

This takes us into a range of creative options where different tools can be adopted in different media, and involve different people in different ways at different (or the same) times. One subgroup can engage with an on-line tool via their laptops in the same meeting room that other colleagues are updating a wall display and yet a third group are polling opinions via social media on their phones.

The reality is that global, technological and social developments will have a big impact not only on how meetings take place, but on their very nature, and we will either engage with this or be overwhelmed by it. For those who choose to engage, the potential of these new opportunities for more efficient, productive, creative and exciting meetings is tremendous.

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