Nix the agenda.

By Dennis McCafferty

Define precise goals.

Less ambiguity is better. For example: " ...to develop a solution strategy to streamline vendor-invoicing practices."

Don’t get hung up on the hour.

Do you need an hour? Think of how to foster productive collaboration in 15 minutes instead.

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Slide 4Think less - not more - participants.It's more important to have the right people in the room than a glut of those who can't make valuable contributions.

Unplug. Detatch. Discuss.

Any collaborative exchange is enhanced when laptops and smartphones are banned.

Nix the agenda.

Reaching the goal IS the agenda. Imposing structure diminishes ability to collaborate.

Collaborate face-to-face.

Even if that face is on a computer screen, expressions and gestures often speak as tellingly as words.

End with firm decisions.

But decide upon something today no matter what, even if new information could change that tomorrow.

Expect chaos.

Agile implementation is disruptive by nature. Anticipate and adapt to initial discomfort/resistance until the disruption becomes routine.

This article was originally published on 11-14-2011