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Thought Leaders

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27October 2016
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Not an obvious comparison perhaps but when I think of my own experience, working with groups as a facilitator and as a not-quite-novice tanguera, the common ground is evident. [embed]https://youtu.be/xx3ErNlkh24[/embed]

Not seeing it? Allow me to elaborate….

Most people come together to work, either face-to-face or virtually, in a meeting; the working equivalent of a dance floor space. Both engagements have recognisable forms and combined moves, based on principles of connection and collaboration. Both are also emergent and co-created moment-by-moment as they play out in real time. It takes a lot of dedication and conscious practice to become good at both dancing and working collaboratively but, really, neither are ever truly mastered. There’s always more to learn. The execution of these two arts requires a solid foundation of skill overlaid by an improvised responsiveness to both the music and each other. This, at its most profound is fluid, nuanced and completely dependent on partnership working. Both require a basic understanding and knowledge of the forms but if we only ever maintain a cerebral awareness of the practice, what we can achieve together is less powerful. We also need to fully engage our intuition and senses to make the most of either situation. When it works and flows, there is almost nothing more meaningful (or beautiful) that we can be a part of. The moments of ease and grace belie the effort involved but create a desire to persist and improve. One is never quite the same after the experience. Being committed to working together is so important, to create something you just wouldn't be able to do alone. It depends on trust and also requires you to each hold your own space whilst being aware of and responsive to the whole dance floor (or working group) at the same time. It’s so important that people think about the way they work together and how we approach the work that needs to be done. No matter whether you are a partner in the dance, a leader or participant in a meeting, no one individual is truly more important than the other. Without our partners there would be no dance at all. This is why, for me, when I work with a client group, it’s like accepting an invitation to dance... and when it works, great collaboration and Argentinian tango have a lot in common. What does great collaboration remind you of?
Image credit: Rosemarie Voegtli
18May 2016
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The Harvard Business Review has published comprehensive thinking on how organisations can engage around agile working models. Agile, of course, started in IT and tech project management. It is now being explored as a way of working in all levels and departments of an organisation. Agile strategy development is something we are exploring and starting to bring into our client work. We work largely in upper management and C-suite levels. We are excited as this level of management dives into agile thinking and decision making. We see agile as part of being Teal, as in the Frederic Laloux's thinking in Reinventing Organisations. Teal and agile complement each other. Mastering both takes time and commitment. Also, we are using both concepts in our own growth as a company. Exciting times.
03April 2016
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Sunnie Giles' article in the 15 March 2016 Harvard Business Review nails the competencies that best serve leaderhip, in its many forms. Our thoughts on leadership align with Sunnie's writing. Have a read and give us your thoughts on this important topic.
29March 2016
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We know from experience that if you focus on the purpose you will find greater success. This applies when meeting and in organisations and in leadership concerns. This article by Dominic Houlder and Nandu Nandkishore in the Harvard Business Review published 22 March 2016 echoes our thinking. Have a read. Let us know what you think.
17March 2016
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This article was developed for Enlivening Edge.

In 1999 I left my well-paid, corporate job to pursue my passion for facilitation and co-found Meeting Magic. Meeting Magic (MM) provided meeting facilitation services for large corporate organisations. Three years later Ingrid, my co-founder, and I were at capacity and the vision for the Meeting Magic Network was born. Little did I know the journey this would take me on! A journey to becoming Teal. (more…)
26February 2016
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Stephen Covey's work and thinking has deep resonance with Meeting Magic. We build on his thinking in understanding the power of meeting. Meeting well is built on trust. Trust glues relationships, meeting process, personal and group action, and organisational change. At Meeting Magic we help individuals build trust within their work process. To learn more about how we can help you build trust among your people, in teams and in decision making and planning, give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or complete our contact form and tell us the issues around trust that you face daily. We're here to support you and your colleagues.
19February 2016
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Call us at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete our contact form with details of what you want to discuss.
17February 2016
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Liz Forder finds her major influencers in her personal life and her effective meeting facilitation. What she has learned from powerful women influences her professional work, particularly her facilitation of groups through the power of meeting. She carries her own empathy, humility and respect for others into her client communications. And, there is room for Bruce Springsteen, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela in her own mashup of their life experiences, poetry, storytelling and empowered thinking. Have a watch and listen as Liz tells us about these powerful people and others who continue to shape her thinking. Give Liz Forder a call to share your own passions and what drives you, and maybe sing a Springsteen song together, at +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or let Liz know what you are thinking about, or your meeting needs, in the contact form. She'll get back to you as quickly as she can.
15February 2016
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Personal growth is what drives Fiona Stratford, even in her client relationships. Internal, personal reflection supports her thinking with clients. Learning from relationships supports her professional interactions. Fiona's goal is to learn from everyone she meets, from line managers in her early professional career to luminaries of thoughful revolution like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. She believe strongly that 'one small step could be the biggest thing you ever do.' Listen and watch Fiona talk about those who have influenced her passion for working with people. To talk to Fiona Stratford about your passions and influencers give her a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or send the contact form and we'll make sure Fiona gets your thoughts on your upcoming meetings or your influencers or how to empower personal growth, even in meetings.
12February 2016
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Meeting Magic believes that meeting well has the power to change organisations and, indeed, the world. Start a conversation with us at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete our contact form with some thoughts on your next meeting. It is a place to start. Let's talk.
11February 2016
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We are collecting data in our meeting culture survey that will inform our thinking about how meetings help or hinder organisational culture. We will be posting some of the data on this website for others to use. Please take our survey. It takes 15-20 minutes so sit back and relax, grab a cuppa and have a go. Select the 'Get yourself heard' link. And scroll down that same page to have a look at some of our initial data results. (more…)
10February 2016
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Becoming a facilitative thinker who understands the power of meeting has been Kenda Gaynham's path through her education, professional life and now her facilitative thinking with clients. Kenda identifies those who continue to influence her thinking and facilitation. She has built her career with beliefs of not limiting people, opening space for creative thinking and breaking through hierarchies. In particular, one of her great influencers has been Margaret Mead whose own belief that small, thoughtful groups can change the world remains a bedrock on which to build client conversations. Listen and watch Kenda enthuse about those who have influenced her, both personal and professional. To speak with Kenda, and explore more of her current thinking about the power of meeting, give her a call at +44 90)6128 471 114. Or, complete the contact form adding some of your own thoughts about your meeting needs.
08February 2016
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Becoming an effective meeting facilitator does not come overnight. It does not come without thoughful reflection about actual client work. And, it does not come without exploring what others think, along with reflection on others' insights. Being an advocate for organisational culture change through meetings comes from years of experience. Katherine Woods range from Peter Senge and David Sibbet in her early days as an internal graphic meeting facilitator to Frederic Laloux in her current thinking about organisational change through meeting culture. Her journey to meeting consultancy has been varied but informative. She demonstrates her passion for culture change through meetings. (more…)
05February 2016
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Here at Meeting Magic and Scribing Magic we have lots of people who influence us from David Sibbet to Frederic Laloux.Over the years these people and their ideas have changed because our thinking and how we work with clients is always evolving with new ideas, and our own shared thinking, particularly about the power of meeting. (more…)
25January 2016
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Katherine Woods as been successful in the meeting facilitation field for many years, 16+ at this writing. She has a thoughtful and experienced take on facilitation and how to support organisations. Her passion about her work with clients is found in her roots and personal history. This video is the second in her story telling. Others can be found in her bio page. If you'd like to talk to Katherine about your organisational needs or your one-off meetings give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or send an enquiry form requesting a chat. We'll get back to you as fast as we can.
22January 2016
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Mastering how to clarify your meeting purpose, how to craft your desired outcomes, and how to create meeting outputs will make for highly impactful meetings. We are passionate about meeting facilitation, graphic facilitation, and visual engagement. Call us to begin the conversation about your meetings and how we can support you. +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or complete our enquiry form to tell us a little about your meeting facilitation needs. We'll get back to you quickly to help sort it all out.
20January 2016
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Frederic Laloux is focusing thinking on organisations. Every generation seems to have a voice that challenges how to imagine organisations. Reinventing Organizations is his book that encapsulates his thoughts. We have much in common with Laloux. We find that we have been on the path to what Laloux calls the Evolutionary stage or Teal. (He uses colours to help identify the stages of his organisational understanding.) Katherine Woods shares her thinking about Meeting Magic's relationship to Laloux's Reinventing Organizations. She summarizes the basics then makes the connection to our passion for meeting facilitation and how to change organisations through high-quality meeting. There are three foundational ways of working that help identify if Teal is the colour of your organisation.
  1. Attention to purpose. Is the purpose of your organisation or, indeed, your meetings have clear purpose? This goes beyond visions, missions and goals. Question and think about your purpose.
  2. The whole person. Do you consider each person in your organisation from the perspective of them as whole persons and engage them on that level?
  3. Self management. Once you have identified your purpose and know you people do you trust them to step up and do what they say they will and do you give them the space to manage their own work?
Some of this thinking has been around for some time. Some of it is new. We've done a lot of thinking about all of this. Give us a call to discuss how you engage Frederic Laloux's thinking no matter the colour of your organisation's stage. +44 (0)1628 471 114. Or complete our enquiries form to tell us what you want to chat about.
04November 2015
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This is one of my absolute favourite quotes and I really believe that it is true.
People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.’ -- Maya Angelou
I was really saddened to see the statistic that 41% of organisations reported an increase in employee mental health problems. This is from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK) Absence measurement and management report that was produced in conjunction with Simplyhealth. It also makes me feel pretty angry, too, as I believe it fundamentally comes down to how we treat one another in the workplace. On the bright side it also means that we can do something about it. If we choose to. (more…)
30October 2015
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Tom Benthin is one of those amazing graphic recorders who understands business and meeting facilitation. This video shows him helping the meeting leader summarise their working day, one way graphic recording serves the group. In this instance, the graphic was used to 're-tell' the story of what happened during the day and invited delegate / participants an opportunity to add or correct the historical record, helping cement the content in participants minds while helping them engage it in a profound way. I was struck by how many times people refer to the visual as a memory tool and how they were pleased to amend the record. This video is a little long but it is very instructive demonstration of how good graphic recording can support the facilitation process, and support shared communications. Meeting Magic and Scribing Magic support your capture of conversations, presentations, and panel discussions so the content becomes an historical record, and can be used to communicate your messages to other stakeholders, including those missing from the meeting, related groups and divisions, leaders and investors, and clients / customers. To learn more about how and why graphic recording and graphic facilitation works give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form telling us what you want to achieve in our groups. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.
26October 2015
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By Katherine Woods and Kenda Gaynham

 How mindful are organisations of the potential of meetings? How many organisations pay explicit attention to leveraging the power of how people meet? How aware are leaders of organisations of the (usually inexplicit) operating systems they create through the way they run meetings? Before we explore this in more detail, let's take a look at what we have found.... (more…)

19October 2015
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The image above is a visualisation of Frederic Laloux's descriptions of organisations from his important thinking described in his book Reinventing Organizations (RO). The image was created by Katherine Woods to visualise RO and to, quite literally, see what Laloux is articulating. Laloux has had a profound impact on our own organisation as well as the work we do with clients, which is and has been deeply rooted in working collaboratively. The work we do puts conversation and collaboration at the heart of meetings, virtual and face-to-face, to get the best out of people. We have been doing this work for over 16 years. We actively participate in the Reinventing Organizations community. The contribution we can make is to offer a forum for some of the great conversations that have already started around being teal to develop. Watch this space for our 2016 Being Teal event. Get in touch to find out more of if you'd like to participate in the event at enquiries@meetingmagic.co.uk. If you want to learn more about how to have truly beneficial conversations and to collaborate more fully give us a call at +44 1628 477 114 or complete our contact form telling us a little about what you want to achieve.
10October 2015
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Margaret Heffernan, in her new book on social capital, explores in depth the true benefit of trust, knowledge, reciprocity, and shared norms in creating successful organisations, including cultures and societies. This is an excellent look at how teams function and think and view themselves and interact. Have a read of this extract from Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes (TED Books/Simon & Schuster, 2015). Then let us know how we can support your teams. We can explore the theories of teams and how to implement stages of development that lead to Heffernan's success. We know teams and how to create high-performing results. Call us at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form to learn how addressing your team issues can move you to greatness.
17September 2015
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Productivity drives success. If this doesn't move you to want to improve productivity in your organisation we don't know what will. Interesting and motivational stuff. Everything Morieux talks about is addressed in quality facilitation.     We know we can help you with your productivity, and the work that makes it happen. Call us for a discussion on this topic at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form and tell us what you are thinking about. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can.
11September 2015
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Our thinking exactly! We help build ideas then move those ideas to committed action. To discuss your thinking on moving ideas to action give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form giving us some thoughts and where you'd like to start the conversation.
09September 2015
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We love this video, both for the content but also the visuals used. This is proof that visual thinking aids understanding. We believe visual or graphic facilitation embeds that visual thinking in organisations. Enjoy! If you want to discuss how visual thinking and graphic facilitation supports your organisational communications give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form letting us know some of your thinking and how we might help you.
31August 2015
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We are unveiling a new bio video for Katherine Woods. This is your first view. It will be posted on the website soon. Have a look and listen to learn more about Katherine. Learn about her passions and watch her explain some of her thinking about Meeting Magic and our client relationships. If you want to schedule a conversation with Katherine, or anyone on our team, give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete our contact form telling us a little about the topics you want to explore.
03August 2015
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Recently, I spent two days at the 7th Developing Leadership Conference held this year at Henley Business School. The forum attracts academics from around the world to present the latest research on leadership development. (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.' (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.
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.
29June 2015
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Blog_Bendy Men KG Paddling Authored by John Ogier, meeting facilitator in Singapore, 12 June 2015 American novelist and social critic James A. Baldwin is responsible for one of our favourite quotes, "The future is like Heaven. Everyone exhalts it, but no-one wants to go there now." It speaks to the recognised human condition that rather than grasping the potential of something different and life changing for the better, we often hang on to what we know or have, no matter how bad. (more…)
20June 2015
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How mindful are organisations of the potential of meetings? How many organisations pay explicit attention to leveraging the power of meetings to drive the organisation’s performance? How aware are leaders of organisations of the (usually inexplicit) culture they create through the way they run meetings? How do meetings play out in your organisation? And what are the implications of this for your business? Is there room for improvement? (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.
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.
30April 2015
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I have been inspired whilst reading the book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux. This book has hit the button for me as I have been considering the work we do with our clients and why collaboration feels so hard in some organisations while being so natural in others. (more…)
20April 2015
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The word 'collaboration' seems to have entered mainstream business language and I am aware that it means slightly different things to different people. However, the biggest variance I see is in HOW different organisations go about fostering collaboration. The paragraphs below are some thoughts and ideas about how we go about this, based on my experience. (more…)
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!
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.
19March 2015
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We always get excited when we find interesting thinking about visual thinking. We, of course, advocate for visual thinking in all meetings and when creating a new meeting culture. This article graphically shows why the whole brain works best in communicating and engaging with others. (more…)
16March 2015
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Impact-Actions Image 14-10-14How to grow the business sustainably and profitably? That's the question most leaders are wrestling with at the moment. But we live in a fast changing, complex world in which no one person has all the answers. Last month, as part of our conversation about the 5C's of facilitation, I talked about the need for Connection to enable breadth of perspective. Connections only add value when the connected people collaborate effectively so that decisions harness the collective wisdom of the group. (more…)
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.
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. (more…)