Opt In Meetings

op in meeting logo onlyIs your diary crammed with meetings?  Do you find yourself sitting in meeting making no contribution? Would you prefer to have only energized and engaged people joining your meetings?  Then declare your next meeting an ‘Opt In Meeting’.

More and more companies are making meetings optional.  By opening up choice you can really make the most of your own time – and everyone else’s.  Does this meeting look vital, relevant or intriguing?  Then go.  Topic neither relevant nor intriguing – don’t go.  It’s that simple.  The benefits – saving time, diaries freed up, making the best use of valuable resources, making people think before both calling a meeting and deciding to join it.

How to do it?  Follow the rules below.  Simply tell people that your meeting will be held as an Opt In Meeting.  Start thinking of organising your meeting like throwing a party – you are the host, you invite people to be your guests and they will come if it seems like it’s worthwhile.  Download and use the Opt In Meeting logo here (or with QR code link to this page here) to help people see what you’re doing.

Jump straight to the rules, tips for hosts, tips for participants, example invitation.

The rules of an Opt In Meeting:

As the host or ‘meeting-thrower’, you will:

  1. Make your meeting open to all
  2. Offer a clear purpose and desired result of the meeting in the invitation
  3. Send out the invitation widely, naming a space, start time and latest stop time
  4. Organise a suitable space for the meeting and be there on time
  5. Welcome everyone who comes as a valuable contributor
  6. Carry out the meeting as quickly as possible, but no quicker
  7. Not get down on people who don’t come – their priorities matter too.

As a guest or participant, you will:

  1. Only choose to come if the meeting is an excellent use of your time
  2. Be there at the advertised start time
  3. Focus on contributing and learning as much as you can
  4. Feel free to leave at any time if you are no longer learning or contributing
  5. Know that any next steps agreed at the meeting will be implemented.

If you would really like to be at the meeting but can’t make it, you can contact the host in advance and let them know your ideas.

Tips to using Opt-In Meetings for the host:

  • Make your invitation clear, relevant and intriguing
  • Use the Opt-In Meetings logo and QR code (on the right here) so people can find out what they are expected to do
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve in a single meeting
  • Send the invitation as widely as possible – you may find people you don’t know who are keen to contribute
  • Thank people for both coming and contributing.  If they leave partway through, thank them again – they have other things to be doing
  • Remember that if no-one shows up, your meeting didn’t look that relevant or intriguing… learn for next time.  Plus, you can still decide some next steps for yourself and begin to put them into action.

Tips to using Opt-In Meetings for the participants/guests

  • Let the host know you intend to come
  • If things intervene on the day, let the host know on the day
  • Come prepared
  • Give space to others as well as putting forward your views – play nicely
  • If you’ve said your piece and learned all you need to, you can leave.  Please do so respectfully and openly.

Example invitation  

opt in meeting logo only qr codeImproving the membership scheme – Monday 5th November, Atrium Room B

Our membership scheme has been quite a success since it launched last year.  I am keen to build on this by targetting new groups and adding to the membership benefits available.  At this meeting I would like to

  • Identify priority new groups to be targetted
  • Review the current benefits in relation to the new groups
  • Identify additional relevant benefits we can offer to both new and existing members

The meeting will be held as an Opt In Meeting, in Atrium Room B from 11.30-12.30 on Monday 5th November.  Anyone interested is welcome to join us.  Let me know if you’d like to come.  You can review the Opt In Meeting rules at http://hostleadership.com/about/opt-in-meetings/ or just scan the QR code attached.

Best wishes, Emily Owen, Membership Co-ordinator

About Opt In Meetings

The format for Opt In Meetings was designed by Mark McKergow, Helen Bailey and Jenny Clarke (Host Leadership), Robbe Richmand (Culture Hackers) and Cathy Brown (Engage for Success).  We look on it a one small practical tool in the pursuit of host leadership, engaged organizations and a better workplace.  It is offered as an open source initiative to the world to experiment with, to make all our lives more worthwhile.  Post your successes, ideas and questions on our blog page, in the first instance.