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Aldric Chen

Aldric Chen

Aldric Chen

Aldric Chen

24 days ago

Jack Dorsey's Meeting Best Practice was something I tried. It Performs Exceptionally Well in Consulting Engagements.

Photo by Cherrydeck on Unsplash

Yes, client meetings are difficult. Especially when I'm alone.

Clients must tell us their problems so we can help.

In-meeting challenges contribute nothing to our work. Consider this:

  • Clients are unprepared.

  • Clients are distracted.

  • Clients are confused.

Introducing Jack Dorsey's Google Doc approach

I endorse his approach to meetings.

Not Google Doc-related. Jack uses it for meetings.

This is what his meetings look like.

  • Prior to the meeting, the Chair creates the agenda, structure, and information using Google Doc.

  • Participants in the meeting would have 5-10 minutes to read the Google Doc.

  • They have 5-10 minutes to type their comments on the document.

  • In-depth discussion begins

There is elegance in simplicity. Here's how Jack's approach is fantastic.

Unprepared clients are given time to read.

During the meeting, they think and work on it.

They can see real-time remarks from others.

Discussion ensues.

Three months ago, I fell for this strategy. After trying it with a client, I got good results.

I conducted social control experiments in a few client workshops.

Context matters.

I am sure Jack Dorsey’s method works well in meetings. What about client workshops?

So, I tested Enterprise of the Future with a consulting client.

I sent multiple emails to client stakeholders describing the new approach.

No PowerPoints that day. I spent the night setting up the Google Doc with conversation topics, critical thinking questions, and a Before and After section.

The client was shocked. First, a Google Doc was projected. Second surprise was a verbal feedback.

“No pre-meeting materials?”

“Don’t worry. I know you are not reading it before our meeting, anyway.”

We laughed. The experiment started.

Observations throughout a 90-minute engagement workshop from beginning to end

For 10 minutes, the workshop was silent.

People read the Google Doc. For some, the silence was unnerving.

“Are you not going to present anything to us?”

I said everything's in Google Doc. I asked them to read, remark, and add relevant paragraphs.

As they unlocked their laptops, they were annoyed.

Ten client stakeholders are typing on the Google Doc. My laptop displays comment bubbles, red lines, new paragraphs, and strikethroughs.

The first 10 minutes were productive. Everyone has seen and contributed to the document.

I was silent.

The move to a classical workshop was smooth. I didn't stimulate dialogue. They did.

Stephanie asked Joe why a blended workforce hinders company productivity. She questioned his comments and additional paragraphs.

That is when a light bulb hit my head. Yes, you want to speak to the right person to resolve issues!

Not only that was discussed. Others discussed their remark bubbles with neighbors. Debate circles sprung up one after the other.

The best part? I asked everyone to add their post-discussion thoughts on a Google Doc.

After the workshop, I have:

  • An agreement-based working document

  • A post-discussion minutes that are prepared for publication

  • A record of the discussion points that were brought up, argued, and evaluated critically

It showed me how stakeholders viewed their Enterprise of the Future. It allowed me to align with them.

Finale Keynotes

Client meetings are a hit-or-miss. I know that.

Jack Dorsey's meeting strategy works for consulting. It promotes session alignment.

It relieves clients of preparation.

I get the necessary information to advance this consulting engagement.

It is brilliant.