The normal flow for the “Needs & Leads” section of a forum meeting tends to follow a rapid and one-way interaction between the members. It usually goes from person-to-person with each person stating one lead they have for the group and one need they are seeking help from the group. Then, if someone can’t support a specific need, they are asked to do it offline after the meeting. This process saves time in an already tight schedule.
What if there is a different way to do the section that adds more value to the meeting.
Instead of requiring that the needs should be dealt with offline, offer each person the option to get quick feedback from the group in the moment.
To do this, the person with the need would spend one minute explaining their need in a bit more detail to the group. Then the group would go around to each person, and each person has up to one minute to give feedback.
This shift in the agenda creates two valuable outcomes:
- People don’t have to wait until after the meeting to address the needs.
- Everyone gets a chance to address their needs vs. just the one/two people doing a deep dive that month.
The only downside, of course, is more time will be needed for this section. You’ll have to figure out how to make up for the extra use of time in other sections of the agenda or intentionally add more time on the end. In experimenting with this new format so far, the positives have outweighed the negatives.