daily standup meeting

Everything you need to know for an awesome Daily Standup Meeting

In Scrum, on each day of a sprint, the scrum team holds a daily scrum meeting called the daily scrum or the daily standup meeting. These short, daily meetings are common in the Agile environment, but because they’re so great at fostering teamwork and transparency, they are growing in popularity across many other types of departments and projects.

Because of its growing popularity, we’ll take a look at these meetings in more detail. What is a daily standup meeting? Why would you hold a daily standup meeting? And what is the best way to hold your daily meetings or to improve them? We’ve put together the best tips and tricks to help you run your daily scrum meeting lean and effective!

First things first: what is a daily standup meeting?

A daily standup meeting is a 15 minutes meeting that is held every day, ideally during the start of the working day. During the daily scrum, each team member answers the following three questions:

  • What did I do yesterday?
  • What will I do today?
  • Are there any impediments in my way?

Where and when?

Meet where the work happens, same place, same time. Ideally, the daily standup meeting is held in the morning, because this will help set the context for the day. If you have a scrum board of story wall, meet in front of that. It will help the team to actually see the work and the progress they are talking about during this meeting.

Why hold a daily standup meeting?

There are many reasons to hold a standup meeting every day. Think about transparency, engagement, and commitment.

The daily scrum meeting is held to foster teamwork and transparency. It’s not a status update meeting in which everyone lets the boss or manager know what tasks they’ve accomplished. Rather, the daily standup is a meeting in which team members make commitments to each other by telling each other what they’ve done and what they will be doing. So, the focus is on each other’s accomplishments and remaining work. If a team member says that he will finish a task today, everyone knows that in tomorrow’s meeting, he will say whether or not he actually finished it. This way you will truly achieve commitment and transparency in your team.

The daily standup meeting is also held to give attention to any impediments. An impediment is a factor that blocks the development team in its creation of a valuable piece of software. The impediments that are stated always become the scrum master’s problem. It’s the scrum master’s responsibility to solve all problems as quickly as possible after the daily standup meeting. This way, all people in the team can do their job without something holding them back. The scrum master is the ultimate impediment remover :).

Examples of impediments that team members can encounter:

  • My laptop charger broke and I need a new one today.
  • I still haven’t got the software I ordered 3 weeks ago.
  • I’m experiencing undesired pressure from the management.
  • I don’t have the right skills to solve this technical problem.
  • I need to discuss something with the Product owner, but he seems unavailable.

Why standing?

The daily scrum meeting is usually held while standing up. This reinforces the idea that the meeting is intended to be short. The standup meeting is held to make the team aware of the current status and impediments, not to foster a longer discussion or attempt to solve problems. So, standing up will remind them to keep it short. Another benefit of standing up is that it will keep the energy high and will help the team to stay focused.

daily standup meeting

Tips for a kick-ass daily standup meeting!

A truly effective daily standup meeting requires experimentation, preparation, and motivation for you to experience the benefits of this daily short meeting. However, more often than not, the standup meetings tend to be too long and get unfocused, thereby destroying the very purpose of the meeting. Here are some effective tips for a successful daily standup meeting:

  • 15 minutes or less. Keep your daily standup meetings 15 minutes or less. Some people tend to wander off into storytelling. Some people want to engage in problem-solving immediately after they’ve heard a problem. But remind yourself and your team that the daily standup meetings are not held to solve problems or have long discussions.
  • Be on time! These meetings only last 15 minutes. To make sure everyone’s involved, be on time, every single day. It won’t benefit the team spirit if some people are late.
  • Keep the team engaged. People’s minds wander off quickly. Make sure they stay engaged. For example, you can use a token to pass around, indicating whose turn it is to speak. This will keep team members on their toes and they will stay focused.
  • Put discovered problems on hold. Don’t try to solve problems during this meeting. Discovered problems can be solved by the relevant person or subgroup immediately after the meeting. The meeting can last no longer than 15 minutes, so do not try to solve problems during this meeting.
  • Keep it fun! Start every standup meeting with a joke, meme, gif, comic, quote, etc. This will keep the interest high and will make sure it stays fun and crisp.
  • Say ‘thank you’. If there’s something a colleague helped you with, don’t forget to thank him/her for that! Thanking someone can really help you to build a good working relationship.
  • Hold your daily standup meeting around the task board. Meet where the work happens. When holding the daily meeting, it makes it much easier if team members can point at stories and tasks on a task board. It will help you stay focused and prevents you’ll talk about things that are unrelated.
  • Signal the end. If you’re going to signal the start of the meeting, signal the end of it too. When the last person has spoken, the gradual realization that it’s time to walk away isn’t really energizing. So, this is the last opportunity to energize team members before they return to work. You could use a team cheer or signature sign-off. Go team!
  • Actually stand up. Yes, it’s called a standup meeting, so have all attendees stand up during the meeting. It will remind everyone to keep it short when they experience physical discomfort from standing too long. A simple way to encourage standing is to simply hold the meeting where there are no chairs

The final note

Call it a daily scrum, daily standup, daily huddle, morning roll-call, morning meetings, or standup meeting, these recurring meetings are a very important part of your day. The daily standup meeting helps you and your team to have a shared understanding of your goals. With this meeting, you’ll make sure every team member is working toward the same goal, so you’ll have an effective team! Daily standup meetings are a very effective way of ensuring commitment in your team. The meeting will make you share problems and improvements. You’ll know the status of everyone’s work, if there’s anything holding them back and which way you can help each other. Make sure everyone’s comfortable sharing their problems.

What do you think? Ready to import these kinds of meetings in your daily work life?

Curious about other types of meetings besides the daily standup meeting? Check out our blog about 4 meeting types and how to make them work!

Need a helping hand with your daily standup meeting?

GAIKU is here to save the day! Especially for your recurring meetings. Our meeting platform gives guidance before, during and after your recurring meetings. You can easily create agenda and action points and share them with your team. Give GAIKU a try and improve your meetings!


meeting agenda

How to create an effective meeting agenda

Sometimes people send an invite for a meeting that has a vague subject line and no agenda or goal stated. These kinds of meetings aren’t very efficient and cost more time than they should. That’s not what you want, right? So, if you’re organizing a meeting, make sure to have a clear meeting agenda. Creating an effective meeting agenda is one of the most important elements for productive and effective meetings, and here’s why:

  • The agenda communicates important information to all attendees. For instance, everyone will know what topics will be discussed, who will be the leader and how much time the meeting will take.
  • The meeting agenda can be used as a checklist, to ensure all topics are discussed.
  • It gives attendees the opportunity to come to the meeting prepared.
  • The agenda provides a focus for the meeting.

Here are a few tips that will help you create the meeting agenda, so you can have more efficient meetings.

Define meeting objective

Before you create the actual agenda, identify the goal of the meeting, it gives you and your team focus. What are the results your group needs to achieve by the end of the meeting? These objectives give you a reason to meet. Know why you called the meeting, what you hope to accomplish as a result and what action you expect from the meeting.

Prioritize meeting agenda points

When creating your list of meeting agenda points, make sure you prioritize your list of topics from most important to least important. This way you’ll make sure all the important topics are handled and accomplished.

Seek input from team members

If you want to have an engaging meeting with engaged attendees, make sure the meeting agenda includes items that reflect their needs. Ask team members to suggest agenda items along with a reason why each item is important for this meeting. If you asked attendees to add agenda items, make sure they know that they should contact you before the meeting with their agenda request and that they should think about the amount of time they will need to present it.

Select agenda items that affect the whole team

Meeting time is often expensive and difficult to schedule. It should mainly be used to discuss and make decisions on topics that affect the entire team — and need the entire team to solve them. They are likely to be issues for which people have different information and needs. If the team isn’t spending most of the meeting talking about interdependent issues, team members will not be engaged and will ultimately not attend the meeting.

Identify who is responsible for leading each topic

Someone other than the formal meeting leader is often responsible for leading the discussion of an agenda item. This person may be providing context for the topic, explaining data, or may have organizational responsibility for that area. Identifying this person next to the agenda item ensures that people take responsibility for leading that part of the agenda and prepare for it before the meeting.

Keep your meeting agenda short

Keep the meeting agenda to 6 agenda items or less. No one wants to spend 2 hours in a meeting. Long agendas seem daunting and often people won’t read them. That’s what we like to call ‘death by meeting’.

Let the content decide the time per topic

Let the content decide how long each agenda point should take. Don’t fall into the trap of overscheduling time per agenda point. If you think something will only take 2 minutes, just write that down next to the agenda point.

effective meeting

GAIKU to the rescue

So, take your time to create a clear meeting agenda, it offers an automatic solution for your meeting to be more efficient! All agenda points will be clear, and everyone knows who’s responsible. But to make it even easier for you, GAIKU is here to help! Your meeting agenda is fixed and sent out in no time! Ready to join our meeting revolution? Subscribe to the waiting list to stay updated, we’ll launch our product soon!

If you want to learn more about planning and organizing a meeting, check out our blog about how to plan an efficient meeting.


collision

GAIKU has spread the word at Collision

Last week we traveled to New Orleans to attend America’s fastest growing technology conference Collision on May 2nd till 4th. At this event, we were able to show people or product and had the privilege of pitching GAIKU on stage!

Almost 20.000 visitors from 110 different countries attended this 3-day conference. Attendees included CEOs of the world’s fastest growing startups and the world’s largest companies, alongside leading investors and media. We’ve been to inspiring talks, heard great live music, and of course the pitches of promising and quality startups.

Needless to say, we’ve met so many great and enthusiastic people. We’ve spoken to a lot of people that claim they need a tool like GAIKU to improve their business meetings. So, handing out our business cards definitely kept us busy 🙂

gaiku at collisionPitch contest

Attending Collision was a great experience in itself. On top of that, GAIKU was invited to compete in a pitch contest with 65 other startups. We were selected out of more than 6000 companies. What an awesome way for Jasper, the founder and CEO of GAIKU, to spread the word about GAIKU!

Next event: The Next Web Conference

Now, it’s almost time for our next event. We’ll be attending The Next Web Conference on May 19th in Amsterdam. Will you be attending? Come chat with us!

If you’re curious about GAIKU and how our web app can improve your meetings, check out our video below.

 

Ready to join our journey to better meetings? Sign up for GAIKU today!


effective meeting minutes

Meeting minutes: how to make them effective

Many employees not only feel they waste a lot of time in meetings, they also feel that most meetings are ineffective. How can we change this? You invest time in attending a meeting, so make sure you get the most out of it!

Let’s take a look at meeting minutes. Effective meeting minutes, a written record of what is discussed and decided during a meeting, are a huge contributor to efficient meetings.

Wait. Are you confused already? What are meeting minutes? If you’re not sure what meeting minutes are and why we need them, first read our blog about meeting minutes and why they are important.

Preparing and writing minutes doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Here are 5 steps that will help you get started with preparing and writing effective meeting minutes.

1. Planning

Good preparation is key! So, prepare your meeting minutes. Make sure you have a digital copy of the meeting agenda beforehand, so you know who will be attending the meeting, what will be discussed and in what order. Use it as a guide or outline for taking notes and preparing the minutes.

Another important part of your preparation is clarifying expectations. When you take on the role as minutes taker for a meeting, be sure to ask the Chair or leader of the meeting what his or her expectations are of your role during the meeting, as well as the type of detail he/she expects in the minutes.

Before you start taking notes at the meeting, it’s important to know what information you need to record at the meeting. Here’s a list of what should be included in effective meeting minutes:

  • Date, time and location of the meeting.
  • The purpose of the meeting.
  • Names of attendees and those who were unable to attend.
  • Agenda items.
  • Decisions that were made.
  • Actions that need to be done. Include the deadline and who it was assigned to.
  • Follow up meeting.

2. Minute taking

Now that you know what to record, you are ready to start writing those effective meeting minutes! Tips that might help you:

  • Create an outline. Having an outline (or template) based on the agenda makes it easy for you to simply write down notes and decisions under each agenda point as you go along.
  • Check-off attendees as they enter the room. Or circulate an attendance list they can check off themselves.
  • Ask for clarification if necessary. Sometimes, the group will move on without making a decision or a clear conclusion, ask for clarification of the decision and/or next steps involved.
  • Be selective. Listen for, and capture key points of the meeting. You can’t keep up if you try to capture it all, so be sure to simply (and clearly) write (or type) just the decisions, assignments and action steps.
  • Record it. Literally. If you are concerned about being able to keep up with note taking, consider recording the meeting, but be sure to let participants know they are being recorded. The recordings can come in handy if you need clarification.

3. After the meeting

Once the meeting is over, pull together all your notes and recordings. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure your meeting minutes are complete by adding additional notes to the minutes as soon after the meeting as possible, while everything is fresh in your mind.
  • Review your outline and if necessary, clarify (action) points. The meeting minutes must be easy to understand but still be as short as possible.

4. Distribute or share meeting minutes

As the official minute taker, your role might include distributing the meeting minutes. Before you do that, make sure you let the chair or leader of the meeting check your meeting minutes and approve them. How will you share your meeting minutes? Time to distribute your meeting minutes! Paperless, of course. Online sharing is easy!

5. Filing minutes for future reference

You’re almost there! Your meeting minutes need to be stored for future reference. Some organizations may store these online and also back these up on an external hard drive. And for some companies, you may also need to print and store hard copies as well.

It’s important to store your meeting minutes well. This way you’ll always when you had a meeting, about what, and who attended, as well was which agenda points were discussed and which decisions were made.

How can GAIKU help?

So, taking effective meeting minutes is important for you to have efficient meetings. GAIKU can make this job even more simple for you. GAIKU is a web app that’s created to guide you before, during and after any type of meeting. When it comes to your meeting minutes, GAIKU will do a lot of tasks for you, so you’ll have more time to focus on other important things! GAIKU records your meeting minutes, notes, and stores all information for you to trace back your meeting history. Also, GAIKU will help you distribute your meeting minutes, action points and will help you schedule and plan a follow-up meeting. That sounds great, right?

Sign up today and start improving your meetings!


what are meeting minutes

What are Meeting Minutes and why are they important?

Every day, important meetings take place in your office. Decisions made in these meetings may involve a lot of time, money and can even change people’s careers. With important things at stake in meetings, it’s no wonder meeting minutes are considered of great value. Meeting minutes serve as a record of what was discussed and decided in a meeting, what actions must be taken, who must take them and when. So, being of such great importance, what are meeting minutes? What exactly is included in meeting minutes? And why are these things important? We’ll explain all this to you in this article, as well as how GAIKU can help you with your meeting minutes and keeping your meeting records organized.

What are meeting minutes?

Most of us have attended a meeting madly scribbling what we thought were meeting minutes only to find out later that we’ve missed important information of that the notes we took were never used. Do you often question what information you should record and what you should leave out? Recording effective meeting minutes doesn’t have to be hard! Minutes that capture the purpose of the meeting and its agreed outcomes are a record that can be referred back to and can be used for follow-up purposes. Effective meeting minutes are clear and to the point, but at the same time, they do not leave out important information.

Meeting minutes keep a record of what was done or talked about at a meeting, including any decision made or action taken. Typically, meeting minutes are recorded by a secretary or assistant, but it can be done by any appointed individual.

What needs to be included?

When you are writing meeting minutes you need to include different kinds of information. Here’s a list of what needs to be included in effective meeting minutes:

  • Date, time and location of the meeting.
  • The purpose of the meeting.
  • Names of attendees and those who were unable to attend.
  • Agenda items.
  • Decisions that were made.
  • Actions that need to be done. Include the deadline and who it was assigned to.
  • Follow up meeting.

Prepare your meeting minutes by writing down the things you know beforehand, like date, time, location, purpose and agenda items. This way you will only have to add the things that you discussed, like the outcome of the meeting.

Why are meeting minutes important?

Although it may seem like writing meeting minutes can take a lot of time, they will, in fact, help you save time and money. Meeting minutes provide a written record of what was discussed and agreed at a meeting, so you and your colleagues will have the same recollections from the meeting and the same ideas about what was agreed. With good meeting minutes, you make sure everyone knows what was decided and what needs to be achieved by what date.

Not taking meeting minutes can be costly in terms of both time and money, for example when you and your colleagues have different recollections of what was agreed during a meeting. In the worst case, if meeting minutes are not written you may end up having to repeat the meeting. So, getting into the habit of taking meeting minutes is good practice.

Why are meeting notes called ‘meeting minutes’?

The ‘minutes’ in meeting minutes, have nothing to do with time, but with ‘small’. This possibly came directly from the Latin ‘minuta scriptura’, meaning ‘small notes’. So meeting minutes are a reference to something small, not something that has to do with time. That’s why meeting notes are called minutes.

So, now you know what meeting minutes are and why they are important. Want to learn more? Check out Meeting minutes: how to make them effective and Meeting minutes Do’s and Don’ts.

How can GAIKU help with your meeting minutes?

GAIKU is a powerful web app that guides you to better meetings. It offers you a lot of features that can help you take meeting notes and keep your meeting history. GAIKU saves your meeting records, so you’ll always know when you held a meeting, what was discussed and who attended. You can even see if you voted on an issue and what the outcome was. Your notes, actions and follow up meetings will all be saved. What a time saver! GAIKU helps you to be more efficient when it comes to recording effective meeting minutes.

Ready for efficient meetings? Sign up today. Off to better meetings!

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Download our free e-book about meetings!

Do you want to learn more about meetings and how you can improve them to save time and money?

This blogpost is part of our e-book ‘A brief introduction to meetings’. Other chapters include meeting agenda, meeting types, meeting rhythms, what are meeting minutes, giving and receiving feedback, group decision making methods, and much more.

CLICK HERE to go to the download page.


Scrum master skills

Infographic: 8 essential skills every Scrum master must have

A Scrum team has three roles: Product owner, Scrum master and Development team. Together they cover the tasks and responsibilities needed to ensure a successful Scrum project. The role of the Scrum master is a challenging one. He/she is responsible for making sure the entire team correctly follows the rules and principles of Scrum. What makes an excellent Scrum master? We’ve listed 8 essential Scrum master skills in this infographic.

 

We hope this infographic gives you a clear understanding of important Scrum master skills. Want to learn more? We interviewed different Scrum masters who gave us tips for other Scrum masters, read the 9 tips to be a successful scrum master.

Curious about how GAIKU can help you improve your Scrum sessions? GAIKU is a web app that gives you active guidance before, during and after any type of meeting. Choose a template for Scrum, Rockefeller, brainstorming, or create your own. Get started today and improve your meetings.


meeting-plan

How to plan an efficient meeting

Organizing a meeting is just as important as the meeting itself. However, meetings are often unorganized, without purpose or agenda and they often go off-topic. Because of this, meetings are the number 1 time waster in the workplace. We know you probably attend and organize a lot of meetings, so here are a few easy steps to make your meeting plan more efficient and successful.

Decide if you really need to hold this meeting

Very often meetings are scheduled unnecessarily. “Let’s schedule a meeting” has become the default response to a lot of business issues. Have a few ideas to share? Let’s schedule a meeting. Struggling with completing your tasks? Let’s schedule a meeting. Want to keep your co-worker informed? Let’s schedule a meeting. Of course, a meeting can be the right solution in many cases, but it’s not always the right answer. When you’re building the strategic plan for the year ahead, it’s clear you’ll need to meet. Take some time to figure out why you need this meeting. Ask yourself questions like “Do I need outside input to make progress?”, “Does moving forward require a real-time, face-to-face meeting?”. Maybe an email or even just a conversation by your desk will do the job.

Start planning simple details

So, you’ve decided you need this meeting. For your meeting plan you can start with simple details:

  • Who should be attending? Decide who needs to be there and make sure that someone you trust will take the meeting minutes.
  • Where should the meeting be held? Choose healthy working conditions. Make it easy for people to hear, see, interact, and move around.
  • What time should the meeting start?
  • What time should the meeting end?
  • Do you need any tools during the meeting?

Have a clear goal

Determine what type of meeting it should be. Are you going to brainstorm? Is it a Scrum meeting? Are you having a meeting to share important information? Ask yourself, before you start writing the agenda: what is the goal of this meeting? What are the results your group needs to achieve by the end of the meeting? Write them down, these objectives give you a reason to meet. Know why you called the meeting, what you hope to accomplish as a result and what action you expect from the meeting.

Set an agenda

The meeting agenda is very important. This is the outline plan for the meeting. Send the agenda to the attendees beforehand and ask them if they want to add an agenda item. With the agenda, you let participants know what will be discussed and it provides a focus for the meeting. Prioritize the list of agenda points from most important to least. This way you’ll make sure the most important topics are handled first. To make it even more structured, specify how much time you want to spend on each agenda point and write it down. For example:

  • Intro (2 minutes)
  • Review previous month’s’ conversion rates (10 minutes)

Send an invite

Send an invite to every attendee stating there will be a meeting, the goals of the meeting, the meeting agenda as well as the details such as when and where it will be. Also, send relevant documents or include other information if people need to prepare something for the meeting. Make sure people have enough time to prepare for the meeting. Ask those invited to accept or decline the meeting.

Plan participation strategies to handle each topic

People are easily distracted or bored during meetings. You can prevent this by thinking about strategies you can use during the meeting that will keep the participants engaged. Different methods can be used to make sure you get the most input or discussion in your meeting. Some suggestions:

  • To get feedback, do a survey in advance or collect ideas at the meeting. The meeting leader can go around the table and ask each participant to share an idea until the list is complete. Listing ideas on a flip chart as they are mentioned helps everyone at the meeting see them all easily.
  • To get greater involvement in decisions, consider listing all ideas and giving participants several votes to cast. In the end, the group’s preferred priorities are clear.

Other things to think of

If you follow the steps above, your meeting plan will be good to go. Here are some other things to think of for your meeting:

  • Start on time!
  • Follow up with assignments and agreements.

So, to hold a successful meeting, take time beforehand to clarify its purpose and plan the agenda. Planning a thoughtful agenda with tasks and processes that engage group members will help create more effective meetings and good results.

Want to learn more about how to overcome different meeting problems for better meetings? Check out our blog about 6 common meeting problems.

About GAIKU..

Let GAIKU guide you! We’re optimizing GAIKU to be your perfect meeting guide. GAIKU gives active guidance before, during and after any type of meeting. You can choose a meeting agenda template, use the voting feature to come to a consensus, have a perfect video conference, and more. Sign up today and improve your meetings!


meeting-types

4 meeting types and how to make them work

Like it or not, meetings probably take up a lot of your time during the week. There are different meeting types and each type requires a different structure. To achieve your goals, you need to consider these differences when setting up and holding a meeting. So, let’s make sure you get the most out of your time! Here’s what you need to know about 4 common meeting types and how to make them work.

Information sharing meetings

These meetings are all about (you guessed it!) informing attendees about a specific issue or sharing information. Depending on the setting, there are several goals that would lead you to choose an information sharing meeting. Most of the time they are educational, such as with seminars, presentations, and lectures. And other times the presenter is sharing information to persuade the group.

The challenge of these meetings is that they easily become boring and tend to be filled with too much information. So, to hold a successful information sharing meeting, organizers need to keep the attendees engaged. Make sure you involve the audience as active listeners. Providing channels for them to ask questions and give feedback is a great way to make sure the group is engaged and paying attention. By making the presentation dynamic, you increase the success of any information sharing meeting. Even something as simple as polling the audience on their interest in the topic can help make the meeting much more engaging. This is true for all information sharing meetings, regardless of the content.

Decision-making meetings

The majority of business decisions are made in meetings, especially important decisions. Your goal in this kind of meeting can vary a little based on the type of decision, but they always focus on coming to a consensus.

Making group decisions can be a challenge. Things like incomplete information and narrow perspectives can make your decision-making meetings even more challenging. Being aware of these things will move you closer to facilitating successful group decision-making. How do you come to a decision? The process can include activities like information gathering and sharing, brainstorming solutions, evaluating options, ranking preferences, and voting on the final options. One of the most important aspects of decision meetings is to create unity around the decision that is created. When everyone feels their opinion has been considered they are more likely to feel ownership of the decision, even when it’s not the outcome they hoped for.

Problem-solving meetings

At problem-solving meetings, the outcome is often a big, important decision. These decisions can be crucial to the development of a team or product. However, problem-solving meetings are one of the most difficult meeting types to hold. Identifying the real problem, intra-group conflict, defensiveness and time pressure are often challenging factors that bring more problems to the meeting. If you choose the wrong action, this could do a lot of damage to the company. So, to make sure that this doesn’t happen, follow these tips!

To come to the best solution for your problem, you first should clearly define what the problem is, as well as to agree on key criteria for the solution. After this, brainstorm possible solutions, evaluate top solutions and then decide on the best one. What truly is the most optimal solution can vary a lot, depending on the setting and situation. Sometimes the best solution is the quickest one, other times it is the one that requires the least resources, while other times it’s the solution that brings the most long-term benefits.

Innovation meetings

It is the key to almost every successful organization: innovation. That’s why innovation meetings are some of the most important meetings. Think about creative meetings and brainstorm sessions. The focus of innovation meetings is to come up with new ideas, designing or redesigning products, or developing entirely new approaches for your business. These meetings tend to be free-flowing. Attendees will build on each other’s ideas, creating a product of their collective intelligence.

Innovation meetings often start with thinking outside the box; brainstorming, associating, and sharing ideas in a broad scope. After this, you can then use various techniques to reduce the pool of ideas to a shorter list. Through ranking, evaluations, and decision making, you can choose the most suitable idea, and you or someone else can assign tasks to everyone. 

A few things you’ll want to get right:

  • Take notes. You’ll want to appoint someone who keeps track of all the ideas that your team comes up with.
  • Follow through. Make sure that your follow-up notes are as clear as possible. You can do this by assigning tasks to the participants and turning ideas into concrete goals.
  • Participation. If you want your innovation meetings to make sense, all participants should be innovating together. Give the meeting participants creative tasks to think outside the box! Give everyone space and try not to be judgmental. Creativity and enthusiasm are very important if you want these kinds of meetings to work.

So…

What type of meeting is your next meeting? Make sure you clearly state the purpose and meeting type in the invitation. This would save you and your team time and effort. Want to learn more about holding a successful meeting? Check out our blog about common meeting problems and how to overcome them.

For all your meeting types, we’re building GAIKU: your guide to perfect meetings. GAIKU will guide your meetings to better results. You can choose from different meeting templates like Scrum, or create your own. Sign up today and improve your meetings!


gaiku

Solutions for virtual team building

Remote and virtual teams are on the rise and our global workforce is closer than ever. As the number of virtual teams continues to go up, managers will have a new problem to tackle: creating and maintaining a strong team culture. How do you build personal connections with all team members and keep everyone from feeling isolated? No worries, we’ve listed some team building activities for virtual teams that you can use in your company. So, get ready for bonding with your co-workers who are scattered around the continent (or several).

Use online tools to have virtual team meetings

Communicating through email, chat and text messages can be difficult when working together on a project so make sure that you have frequent virtual meetings. Video is your number-one substitute for face-to-face meetings. Use screen sharing and video to discuss important projects and keep each other updated.

Encourage your team to be engaged

Want to build a strong team culture? Make sure you encourage communication and create an open environment. Everyone in the team must feel comfortable to share their ideas, work-related or not. Share interesting articles, videos, GIFs, thoughts or even a new song you’ve played in repeat the past days. Engagement is key in building a trusting team! And don’t forget asking your remote co-workers about non-work-related subjects like their weekend, vacation plans, movies or other things that are keeping them busy besides work.

Give a virtual office tour

This is a fun one. Remote team members often don’t even know what their colleagues’ office looks like. Why not give them a virtual tour? When working with a virtual team, use technology to the maximum to bond with your colleagues. Have a walk around, have a small chat with a co-worker and show off your desk. Don’t forget the office dog, of course. Have your colleague do the same for you!

Have a virtual meeting to discuss personal goals

Even though you’re not in the same office, state or even in the same country, it’s important to share your personal goals and know the goals of your co-workers. Goal setting is a cornerstone for successful teams. Set aside time to discuss goals during a virtual meeting. Share where you stand in current projects, where you want to go if there’s anything that’s holding you back. Your colleagues’ tips and skills may be of great value!

Play team building games with your virtual team members

Who says you can’t play games with remote co-workers? Be creative and use video and chat to have fun! Think about Charades. You can play this game easily using video. Charades will help you foster teamwork in a light and funny way. And what about Spin a Tale? You don’t even need video for this one, just use a chatroom to play this game. Spin a Tale boosts creativity and helps team members think on their feet. Make up the first line of a story. Then ask team members to take turns and add a line until a whole plot develops. The plot will change drastically and the story will never end up the same. In other words, while working on team building, you’re also learning how to think innovatively.

Remember to give a compliment

A pat on the back for a job well-done is easily given when you’re standing by the coffee machine or sitting next to each other during lunchtime. However, when working with remote teams, people often forget to give their co-workers a compliment. Acknowledgment is a key factor in happiness and confidence among employees. Working remotely doesn’t offer the same opportunities to shake hands so it requires a bit more creativity to show recognition. Use chat rooms, email, text, or take a moment during a virtual meeting to compliment your colleagues.

Hopefully these tips and exercises will help you build a strong and engaged virtual team. Having trouble organizing and structuring your virtual meetings? GAIKU is here to be your perfect meeting guide for local and remote teams. GAIKU is a powerful web app that plans and structures your meetings so you’ll have better results in less time. Sign up today and improve your meetings!