A yearly Climate Lockdown will make for a positive Climate narrative.

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Let’s connect events for a positive Climate narrative.

And then the world was being put into emergency mode by COVID-19. For a couple of weeks, the hope was that it would remain a local or regional problem. After all, earlier viral outbreaks had been successfully managed on a national or regional level. But when the virus started spreading and popping up everywhere, societies around the world quickly realised the problem was growing out of their hands… unless they would act swiftly.

I found it truly bewildering to see how swift governments acted with unimaginable measures. By the end of February, you would be laughed at if you’d say we would put the whole world economy to a halt. Yet by the end of March most countries were in some kind of lockdown and we were all figuring out how to live without travel, teach from home and work from distance. …


Our leaders are still in denial, but under them a strong movement is emerging.

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The last in date was the European Parliament. They declared a Climate Emergency on 28 November 2019. Right now over 1200 jurisdictions around the world have declared such an emergency.

Emergencies conjure images of war like situations. When the wellbeing of people is at great risk, an emergency can be declared. It allows government to seize control with radical measures, to circumvent the normal institutional arrangements, to deploy the army and to redirect the economy towards solving the crisis as swiftly and boldly as possible. Declaring an emergency is no small step.

Having lived in Bangkok for a couple of years, I experienced a (short) emergency in May 2010 when opposing groups and endless demonstrations turned into civil unrest, arsoning and military intervention. This happened just a few blocks away from our apartment. …


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The UN Climate Summit in September in New York was a failure. It was to be expected. In the build-up to the Summit, it became clear that the major economies were not ready to raise their climate ambitions. Setting targets is actually much easier than delivering on them. So raising the-still-to-be-delivered targets was clearly overstretching it.

And while some countries have pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2015, getting there still remains a big question mark. …


It’s common wisdom that the complexity in which organisations currently operate requires a different type of organisation. New, however, is that we also need different meetings fitting these new organisations.

A new type of meetings for our complexity
A new type of meetings for our complexity

Organising for complexity means a radical shift away from the organisation as we know and learned. The one built upon hierarchy (command and control), planning and standardised production is feeling its limits. Big time. In the new dynamics, your organisation has become slow, chocked by the many rules and kpi’s. Your staff is demotivated, lacks creativty and shows little initiative. (Well, that’s a pretty dark picture. But isn’t that reality in manty of our organisations?)

The answer to this complexity comes in the form of networked organisations. Small teams in which value creation is the result of team interaction. It’s a process of working with one another for each other. Rules, bosses and standards don’t matter that much anymore when you realise that it’s purpose that drives people and that the quality and quantity of interactions is what creates value. …


Clarify your decision-making for better meetings
Clarify your decision-making for better meetings

Meetings have various and diverse goals, and often some sort of decision-making is part of it. A clear decision is what participants usually expect by the end of a discussion. But interestingly enough, when a topic is on the agenda, we just start the discussion. That means that by the time you want to come to a close, you’re not sure on how to end in a satisfactory way. Or maybe you are, but then participants might be caught off guard by the decision and your promptness.

In control… yet your meetings run astray

It’s bewildering to see such a high-risk attitude when it comes to working in groups. And a high-risk attitude, it is! The complex work environments require different and new skills to keep groups moving forward. And also to unstuck them when needed. It requires more than the unprepared improvisation that most meeting leaders currently use.


How well did you lead your last meeting? Did participants accept your guidance and leadership? Did you manage to get new and fresh ideas on the table? Have a frank and honest conversation? Get everyone engaged? And did participants align to your purpose and direction as a meeting leader?

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Meeting waiting to be led

Ah… leadership in meetings! It’s a vast theme. Most of us can identify great leadership but being able to pinpoint where the greatness comes from is usually a bit mysterious and gets lost in hollow answers and empty words. Basically, people don’t know what makes leadership great. …


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Mister Intervention showing the way

Facilitating effective meetings is no easy task… I am on my way back from Kyrgyzstan where I facilitated a 3-day conference. Kyrgyzstan (for those of you who don’t know) is a former Soviet Republic in Central Asia. Hence, it’s one of those countries where the state ruled and intervened in all aspects of individual lives of its citizens. And though the Soviet system broke down 25 years ago, this interventionism is still visible everywhere.

With interventionism came victims. Many victims.

An example: a lady running a craft shop in the capital Bishkek was explaining that whenthe Soviets forced every one to settle in apartments(the Kyrgyz are nomadic people) the craft of creating ornamental felt carpets for their yurts got lost. In their new dwellings there was no place for something typically Kyrgyz (of course not). This lady was now restoring old carpets, gathering the storiesthat were explaining the lost meaning of the symbols and signs on the carpets. …


Conducting effective meetings is all about communicating well. Without communication, your meeting would not exist. And communication is as much about listening as about sharing and conveying a message.

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Conducting effective meetings: Listen deeply to each other

Communication is giving and receiving

The word ‘communication’ has a Latin origin of which the root is mun. The Latin munus means service or duties offered publicly. In ancient Rome, the communicatio generally involved tangible goods. The word has then evolved and found its way into European languages leading to words as community and communication. But also a word such as meaning. So communication is all about giving and receiving and that automatically involves the other.

Talking is a way for us to communicate. There are more, but for this post, I’ll stick to talking. You give your words, ideas, thoughts, stories, etc…. …


Telling the Return on Investment or ROI of your meeting is not that easy

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Meetings do cost money. Definitely. And you can find numerous tools that help you calculate the costs of your meetings. Just google for downloadable apps. But what do these numbers really say? It only tells you how much money you invested in the meeting. Can you tell whether you are having productive meetings? Do you really know the value of your meetings? Telling the Return of Investment or ROI of your meeting is not that easy.

The whole question of ROI of meetings popped up at a workshop I was giving with Co-learning in Belgium. …

About

Ruben van der Laan

Surfing complexity *** Facilitating change *** Climate Change *** leadmeetings.com***hetnieuwewerkoverleg.nl ***

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