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<h1> Author: Fiona Stratford
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03September 2015
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A good place to start learning high quality meeting facilitation or to add to your skill sets is the Meeting Magic book. Here is a sneak peek at our new video describing the book and what it offers you. You can purchase the book direct from our webpage.

If you would like to discuss the contents of the book and how Meeting Magic can support your facilitation skills development give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form and tell us what you are wanting to talk about. We love training and coaching about meeting facilitation, facilitation for leaders, team development and taking vision to action.

02September 2015
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Sometimes you gotta jump in and do it! Our tool-kit, the Meeting Magic Method, is a highly practical and focused support process for thinking about meetings and how to make them more effective. The Method offers foundational theory while using a template, visual approach to meeting planning. This tool-kit is highly regarded by users and is one of the several books we use in our own training workshops.

Here is a sneak peek at our new video introduction to the Method. You can purchase the Meeting Magic Method direct from our webpages. (Scroll down a little bit to find the link for the Method.)

To learn more about the Meeting Magic Method, how to engage your thinking using visual tools, and how to improve your meetings give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. We support, encourage and coach you to successful meetings.

26August 2015
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We are excited about our newest pages on the website. In addition to our popular Advanced Facilitation Training (AFT), our training offers now cover Collaborative Leadership, Vision to Action and Team Performance. These four offers round out the messages we have been sharing with clients and offering in training for our 16 years of service.

  • Collaborative Leadership: supporting management and directors who understand that harnessing group working creates a stronger, more focused organisation with rewards for all stakeholders.
  • Vision to Action: our unique formats for creating vision and understanding how to take the vision off the shelf and into committed action.
  • Team Performance: an in-depth exploration of how to sustain trust, commitment and momentum in groups of all types and in all sectors of an organisation.

While the AFT is offered as open, public training (with our next dates of 11-12 November), these new titles are offered in-house so that we can explore the topics within the context of your organisation, applying real-life issues and questions in a non-threatening environment.

For more information on each of our training offers give us a call at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form telling us the training options you want to explore. We love training. Give us a call.

Senior business planning team meeting around a table.
11August 2015
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There’s a saying, ‘if you fail to plan then you plan to fail’. As we approach the time when many businesses are involved in business planning there is no doubt that this is a really important activity. How effective is business planning in your business? Do you get the outcomes that deliver real business benefit and drive competitive advantage? Could it be better? Read More ›

27July 2015
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While it is a ‘nice to have’ in order to keep the reality in our sights, in reality we all know that meetings are under pressure to become better. That meeting is a verb that needs some action, not a noun to be reviled and left to hang out to dry. We know meetings. We know why meeting works. We support meeting as a strategy not a ‘must do.’ Read More ›

24July 2015
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john-ogier-64pxOur very own John Ogier in Singapore will facilitate a highly topical webcast about virtual leadership and how to successfully run virtual meetings. Speakers Jeannine Hertel, COO of Mercuri Urval, and David Grainger, Sales Director, Arkadin, will join John in a virtual format to demonstrate and discuss best practices for virtual meetings and leading distributed teams. Read More ›

20July 2015
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This article in the Harvard Business Review supports much of what we have been speaking to clients about for years. This is well researched and written. It helps that it is the summary of a book, Your Strategy Needs a Strategy.

If you want to explore the ideas in this article and book give us a call. We will support your strategy work using the best options for you and your organisation. Be prepared for a lively conversation on strategy facilitation and meeting design. +44 (0)20 1626 471 114. Or, complete the contact form and let us know you want to discuss your strategy (or other) work.

Our office in Singapore can support you in the Asia Pacific Region. Let us know where you are and we’ll get out APAC team in touch.

17July 2015
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Katherine Woods and John Ogier have a busy week coming up. When taking a break from client meetings in Singapore, they will be speaking at the Singapore Australian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, July 30. The topic is one we enjoy implementing with clients. How to be creative in your collaboration so you drive results is a critical topic. Come join the conversation at the Chamber meeting.

Click here for more information and to register.

If you want to discuss how to collaborate creatively in your meetings and organisations give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or, tell us about your corporate meeting culture in our contact form and we’ll get in touch to have this critical conversation.

17July 2015
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Existing hierarchical decision making is not working in our modern economy and corporate environments. In Singapore on Tuesday, July 28, Katherine Woods and John Ogier will be exploring this topic with the Singapore British Chamber of Commerce. Anyone in Singapore or visiting the area is welcome to attend the meeting.

Click here to learn more about the event and to register.

If we can help you disrupt your decision making and support you with graphic facilitation in your meeting culture give us a call at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form and let us know how disruptive you want to be. We look forward to the conversation.

15July 2015
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Businesses are all about people working together. The good news is that we are currently investing huge amounts in this, but are we getting the return?

  • Managers invest 50-75 % of their time meeting with colleagues
  • This equates to spending over 130 days a year meeting people
  • Most organisations spend over 10% of their turnover in people meeting together to work

If this money was being invested in Marketing or R&D, how would it be planned and managed? How would the success of the investment be known? What expertise would be sought from those people tasked with working on this investment?

We tend not to think of time spent meeting people, as an investment. Why is this, and what does this mean for the productivity of our organisations?

Katherine Woods will be exploring these questions and other aspects of the Power of Meeting at Henley Business School’s Developing Leadership Capability Conference on July 15, 2015.

To learn more about Katherine’s thinking on productivity and leadership gives us a call at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form telling us a little about the conversation you want to have.

If you are in Singapore or the APAC region let us know that as well. We can support your critical business thinking via our Singapore office.

14July 2015
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VoiceAmerica is the online leader in original live talk radio; they more or less invented the format back in the 1990s and have gone on to become the single largest producer, distributor, and online broadcaster of original live and on-demand talk radio programming in the world. VoiceAmerica reaches millions of listeners every month in more than 60 countries worldwide, and in June 2015 their radio host Chris Cooper, whose widely listened-to Be More, Achieve More talk show provides inspiration to thousands of high-achieving  businesspeople and entrepreneurs, interviewed Meeting Magic CEO Katherine Woods. On the agenda: meetings, of course, with all their opportunities and pitfalls, and some insights into what led Katherine Woods to create one of the most successful and longest-running meeting facilitation businesses in the world.

Read More ›

10July 2015
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Inspiring talk based on his leadership knowledge gained from his military experience.

Give us a shout and we’ll help strap you in as a leader by helping you listen, learn and lead! +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or, complete our contact form with some thoughts on what you want to learn and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

01July 2015
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We like this quote because it supports our thinking on how to approach meetings with openness to ideas. Holding our own ideas loosely so we are ready to change when we learn from others.

24June 2015
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Katherine speaks at EEPN about her passion for charitable support.
Katherine speaks at EEPN about her passion for charitable support.

Katherine Woods spoke at the inaugural Thames Valley section of the Engaging Experience Philanthropy Network, which is an initiative of the Bulldog Trust, about her personal engagement with volunteering and how Meeting Magic and Scribing Magic support philanthropy and giving back to our larger community.

The focus of her presentation was to get involved through one’s own passions and one’s own experience. Katherine is a strong supporter of two charities, Escaping Victimhood and Child Bereavement UK. Meeting Magic encourages our team to support their own passions in volunteering.

We support charitable boards and leadership in becoming high-performing so their focus can be on client delivery and client support. To learn more give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form and mention your charity.

11June 2015
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Some really interesting research released today by CIPD in their Employee Outlook 2015 Survey got me thinking…again!

In the survey, “around 50% of the 2,226 respondents described their organisation culture as ‘a formalised and structured place to work, where procedures govern what people do and hold people together.” Read More ›

10June 2015
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Voice America Logo 10-6-15Our erstwhile leader, Katherine Woods, is featured in an interview on Voice America radio this Friday, 12th June, at 4pm UK time (GMT/BDT) and 8am USA Pacific Time (PDT). Please link to the interview above.

The conversation will be about Katherine’s path and journey in her consultancy world and her current thinking about meetings and the importance of meeting.

If her thoughts spark some interest give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form. We would enjoy speaking with you about meeting facilitation and your meeting culture.

05June 2015
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Authored by Fiona Stratford, Meeting Magic Facilitator

Understanding the costs of meetings helps clarify why meeting facilitation can add value to organisations.
Understanding the costs of meetings helps clarify why meeting facilitation can add value to organisations.

Wow, really???!! I heard some statistics today that got me thinking–managers within businesses spend between 50% and 75% of their time in meetings, with the higher percentage relating to more senior managers and directors.This is interesting in itself but the scary bit is that of those meetings some 42% result in NO action.

So the accountant in me just had to work out some costs relating to this. Read More ›

29May 2015
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Reading this article reinforces for us the power of using graphic to record meeting and more importantly to have a neutral meeting facilitator to help disentangle the web of language we encounter every day. This is an excellent article. It gets us thinking about how we can support your communications with your various stakeholders and to improve the power of meeting.

To speak in our rich language about how to add powerful graphic facilitation to your meetings give us a call at +44 (0) 1§628 471 114 or complete the contact form. We’ll cogently reply to your request as soon as we can.

26May 2015
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We highly recommend this workshop by David Sibbet. If you can’t make it to our Advanced Facilitation Training workshop 9-10 July near London this is an alternative worth considering.

20May 2015
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We know you may have seen this TED talk. Leadership may never be the same!

Talk to us about your leadership and how to be what Simon is talking about. +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or, complete the contact form with some basic thoughts and we’ll get back to you.

17May 2015
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fiona-stratford-500pxOur team keeps growing and gaining depth in the process. Fiona Stratford joins us bringing a strong business background and a broad understanding of working with group process within the management and leadership strata of organisations. She has hit the ground running and is ready to speak with you about how she can support your meetings, corporate conversations, and meeting cultural change initiatives.

To speak with Fiona, or any of our team, call us at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form. We’ll reply as quickly as we can.

04May 2015
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Self-taught facilitators are heroes to us because they work hard to get results, create conversations, and find agreement. Their facilitation skills become the foundation for strong learning by both adding value and helping align their experience with facilitation best-practices, and adding some highly useful theory to create a solid thought foundation for ongoing work. Read More ›

29April 2015
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Our own research does not indicate that this is true and we have not been able to verify it as yet. Evidence at the meetings we attend (and, yes, at our own internal meetings as well) seems to indicate this is not the case.

However, perhaps by having good meetings we can also save chocolate! Think of the energy boosts, the boredom breakers and the general mood creation from chocolate. If there were good meetings globally, that included ways to energize, break the boredom cycle and motivate participation perhaps less chocolate would be consumed and the tragedy of looming chocolate shortages can be averted.

We think we can help with bad meetings and stem the angst of chocolate lovers everywhere. Give us a call at +44 (0) 1628 471 114 or send us a contact form and we’ll sort this out at your organisation.

20April 2015
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Another Simon TED talk. This one from 2013. The Golden Circle talk about why, how and what. Interesting and inspiring!

17April 2015
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Posters, such as this 'Welcome', are one option we train for gathering and focusing meetings.
Posters, such as this ‘Welcome’, are one option we train for gathering and focusing meetings.

Have you been wanting to add to your current skill sets in your meeting facilitation work? We have the solution. Consider our Advanced Facilitation Training on 9th & 10th July near London. Read more about the training or contact us and we can discuss whether the workshop is a fit for your learning goals. Join us!

30March 2015
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Once again, Dave Grady challenges our thinking about meetings. This time the virtual sort, the kind that by necessity are becoming more common. His humour points to the problems and also seeds the opportunities for fixing your virtual meetings. We can help you fix them. Call us on +44 90)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form to find out how.

25March 2015
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This TED talk from about a year ago still inspires our thinking about leadership and the capacity for success.

23March 2015
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We even have fun at our meetings!
We even have fun at our meetings!

The Meeting Magic / Scribing Magic team are going into our quarterly meeting. What we do with clients in our meeting facilitation and culture work with them we also do with our own processes. We’ll be working on our new vision, planning and some personal development. We’ll be looking at our own meeting culture issues that we have explored with our new diagnostic tools. We’re excited about these few days.

If you want to talk about your meetings and meeting culture, and our new diagnostic process and tools, we’d enjoy speaking with you. +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or, complete the contact form and we’ll get back to you.

13March 2015
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In the midst of it all just push back and relax!
In the midst of it all just push back and relax!

Sit back. Have a cup of coffee, tea, chocolate, milk or whatever helps you relax. Take a deep breath and enjoy the day. No need to stress. The weekend is upon you. Take a sip and chill.

We’re taking a break from seriousness. Join us just for today.

12March 2015
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unicyclistOur Advanced Facilitation Training workshop is coming up in July. Take a look at the workshop information on the website then contact us to discuss whether you are right for participation. Our selection criteria for delegates requires at least three years group process facilitation, experience with uncovering desired meeting outcomes, substantive agenda design, leading meetings on the day and working toward follow up solutions to support group work.

We are happy to discuss the agenda, training process and other details with you. Call us at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form with reference to the AFT and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

10March 2015
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Dave Grady is using humour to move people’s thinking about meetings and the culture surrounding them. This one tackles one meeting syndrome and highlights some important messages for moving from bad meetings to good meetings. It can be done.

06March 2015
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We’ve added a new case study so you can see more of the kinds of work we have been doing and can do for you. Have a quick read and let us know how we can help you with your meeting facilitation needs. Give us a call at +44 (0)20 1628 471 114 or complete the contact form.

04March 2015
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huffAt last I am reading something in the media about the positive impact that meetings can have! This article in the Huffington Post, Bored Boards Are Bad for Busniess. Smart Companies are Fixing That. (February, 2015) highlights how powerful meetings can be (and, frankly, should be) particularly at leadership level. Read More ›

20February 2015
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Our good friend and mentor, David Sibbet, has posted a considered reflection on the state of graphic facilitation in today’s meeting world. While graphics is one way Meeting Magic support clients our thinking on this continues to evolve as does David’s. Have a good read.

02February 2015
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Katherine concurs with John Kotter’s comments in his Harvard Business Review article called What Leaders Really Do about the difference between long-range planning and leadership through setting direction. However, his description of aligning sounds quite ‘tell’ and doesn’t explore other ways of aligning through testing, collaborating, conversations, consulting and co-creating, which is the space we stand in.