Walking meetings, or walk and talk, is a term that has become increas ingly common at meetings and conferences. And it is not so strange as the staff becomes healthier and the meetings more efficient. Färna’s beaut iful surroundings extend over an area of one hundred hectares, so here there are every chance to find your “own” place to walk.
This meeting model suits you who want to get new, creative ideas and suggestions from your meeting participants as well as cr eate commitment and anchor decisions and changes within the organization.
What is needed?
Really just a good pair of walking shoes and clothes for the weather!
This is how you succeed with a walking meeting
Before the meeting
Send an invitation in good time where you inform about the purpose and goals. Make sure you have plenty of time to follow up and take advantage of any ideas that come up and decide on next steps.
10-14 days before the meeting, the program and any supporting documents are sent out to all participants. Repeat the purpose and goals and feel free to supplement with what the participants should know, think and feel after the meeting.
Prepare a number of topics, questions or problems that the participants will delve into, for example business development, marketing activities, personnel issues and so on.
Divide the participants into groups of 2-3 people. Feel free to mix people who don’t know each other very well. Prepare them to wear walking shoes and dress for the weather.
During the meeting
Gather the group and reiterate the purpose and goal of the day and what will happen.
Give the pairs or groups 20-30 minutes (during a coffee break) to decide which topic or question they want to delve into. Maybe they have their own suggestions? It doesn’t matter if several groups choose the same topic, as it is good to get several angles on a solution or proposal to discuss from.
Give the pairs or groups plenty of time to discuss the chosen topic during a long walk. Make sure they take notes, or record the discussion on their mobile phone.
Give them the following questions to consider:
- What do we want to do and why do we want to do it?
- What do we want to achieve (goal setting)?
- When will we achieve it (timetable)?
- How are we going to achieve it (action plan)?
- Who/who will do it (organization)?
- What do we think this will cost (finance)?
- How do we ensure that this is carried out and not stop at a good idea (evaluation)?
- Is it worth the resources in terms of effort, time and money (benefit analysis )?
- Is there something else we can do instead that gives the same result?
- What is it that speaks for the success or failure of this proposal?
- What should we stop doing to free up work time and resources for this decision?
Don’t forget to schedule time for lunch and coffee breaks!
Reassemble the group and ask them to briefly report what they have arrived at according to the points above. Time how much time each group has and save any discussion for the next step, the Decision Phase.
The decision phase
Be s ure to schedule plenty of time for discussions in this phase!
Let the group themselves decide which ideas and suggestions should be taken forward within the organization. As the meeting leader, try to stay in the background and let the group make the decisions. For this to work, the group needs to have rules and guidelines, for example:
- The group must appoint a person in charge who documents.
- The group must appoint a person in charge who summarizes and formulates the decisions.
- The group decides on a number of “cease with” points, to free up time for any new ideas.
- Make sure that each decision is formulated with the following sub-points:
- What is decided?
- Who is primarily responsible for the decision?
- What is the objective?
- How should it be done?
- Who does what?
- When will it be ready?
- What will it cost?
- How do we ensure that this is pushed through and not stopped at a good idea?
Perhaps only one or two good ideas or suggestions have the right timing to be implemented right now? All suggestions that come u p are documented and saved to an idea bank for the next meeting.
After the meeting
Ensure that all participants receive documentation of what decisions were made within a few days of the meeting.
Schedule follow-up meetings with whoever is responsible for each decision, to ensure ideas are pushed forward on schedule.
Quick facts walking meetings
Suitable for up to 30 people
Creative thinking and decision-making around a specific topic
Can be done anywhere and in any weather