At a Glance

Large meetings are becoming increasingly important, and large meetings are changing.

Virtuous Meetings takes you inside the new world of large group meetings. In business, in government, in international forums, participants are being given a radical new role in generating group solutions. With the integration of communications technology into face-to-face meetings every participant now has a “voice” in the conversation. Active co-creation is replacing the old model of top-down decision-making.

“How can you make your voice heard? How do you work productively in large meetings? It is astonishing how convincing the arguments of the authors are – and how helpful. As an experienced member of parliament, who has attended meetings around the globe for decades, I can only lean back and recommend: Read this book. The time it takes to read it will be paid back tenfold in efficiency gains.”

Dr. Hans-Peter Martin

author of international bestsellers The Global Trap and Bitter Pills, and 15 year member of the European Parliament

Gaining consensus and building solutions with a large group of people is critical today – whether it is forging international agreements with hundreds of stakeholders, or generating alignment among large leadership teams spread around the globe. The way large meetings are conducted is having an increasing impact on how we solve the world’s problems, and who will flourish in the new economy. The notion of one person standing up in front of the whole group and talking, while everyone else listens passively as an “audience” has been overturned. Virtuous Meetings is a practical guide to understanding what the alternative is and how it works.

“When you open this book, be prepared to be amazed. Amazed at how technology can enable real human interaction—you know, the face-to-face, look-’em-in-the-eye kind where people get up close and personal and find common bonds through honest communication. In case after case, Karl Danskin and Lenny Lind show you how one-way monologues from leaders to followers can be transformed into effective, trust-building, two-way dialogues between members of a community. I’ve seen it work, and it’s close to magic. I highly recommend that you not only read this book, but that you put the process described in Virtuous Meetings into practice.”

Jim Kouzes

coauthor of The Leadership Challenge; Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

Come inside this new world of meetings and discover how meeting design is the key that unlocks the transformative power of communication technology in large group meetings. The design methodology offered in Virtuous Meetings is the result of the authors’ twenty years of experience pioneering the integration of technology into large meetings. The book includes illustrative examples from the authors’ work around the world with large organizations in their most critical meetings. Topics include:

  • An examination of the difference between Front-of-the-room-centered large meeting design and Participant-centered design
  • The use of Two-level meeting design, where meeting participants are part of both the plenary group and small discussion groups
  • The simple steps of the Virtuous Engagement Cycle that can be used to generate large group alignment and ownership by means of small group discussions
  • The utilization of technological connectivity to enable a “parallel processing” activity during small group discussions that eliminates the need for time-consuming “breakouts” and repetitive “report outs”

“The success of any large or small org is the direct function of people’s ability to collaborate effectively, think and act and do things together. The lesson of Virtuous Meetings is very clear: when the participant-centric model happens in the room as part of a meeting, the participant-centric paradigm is infused into an organization. By having the participant-centric approach to meetings, you role model and upscale people to do exactly the same things which they need to do on a daily basis in order for the company or the organization to be successful.”

Bjorn Thomas Atterstam

former Group Head of Talent and Senior Management Development at Prudential PLC

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