More efficient in-person meetings with Loomio

• Written by Mix Irving

Working efficiently as a group is complex. Part of the puzzle is to find a balance between in-person meetings  and online collaboration.

Meetings are costly, but they allow for rich information transfer. Online collaboration allows everyone to contribute in their own time, but there are plenty of conversations you don't want to have online. With the right balance, you can get the best of both worlds.

During an in person meeting, discussing an Agenda Item ideally goes something like:

discussion turns into action

  1. Someone presents the Agenda Item
  2. Others weave in additional detail
  3. Discussion converges to a clear Action Point

We record Action Points with: name of the agreed action; person responsible; and maybe a due date

It's not uncommon for discussion to raise points outside of the scope of a meeting, or to lead to complexity that can't be resolved within the allocated time. If you can notice this happening, then you can respect this complexity and peoples time, by clearly recording the details and pushing discussion and decision making out to Loomio.

discussion in person discussion moves online

  1. Someone presents the Agenda Item
  2. Others weave in additional detail
  3. A Facilitator notices burgeoning complexity, and asks “Does this sound like a Loomio?”
  4. The group agrees to move the topic to Loomio, where it can be discussed asynchronously

It's a good idea for the Loomio to be held by one or more people interested in the problem. This group can also facilitate great decision-making by resolving a clearer context. This might involve gathering data, seeking expert advice, or preparing a range of recommendations.

Once you've got a clear outcome, you can take that to the next team meeting. Online offline flow might look like this:

In person discussion goes to loomio and then back to meeting

  1. The team gathers for a meeting, and works through some Agenda Items. The second item can't be resolved in the meeting so it's decided to push it out to Loomio. The meeting ends.
  2. Relevant members engage with the discussion on Loomio, and come to a decision or recommendation
  3. The team meets again in person. The results of the discussion are fed back to the team.

Tags: Guides Cultural Technology

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