How do you ensure that meetings are not just an occasion where everyone has their say without coming to a conclusion? We ask Willeke Bosse from the Academy for Healthcare, part of Avans University of Applied Sciences.
Avans University in Brabant consists of 21 faculties. The Academy for Healthcare (AFH) in Breda comprises of about 2,000 students in the subjects Health & Technology, Physiotherapy and Nursing. Within the AFH, employees work in core teams that are responsible for a specific phase of the training.
I myself work in the team responsible for the first year of nursing. Until recently, meetings were a fun affair where everyone had their say about every agenda item. It was a rather difficult task for the chairperson to structure the debate. There was not enough time for all agenda items pretty much every time and a lot of issues remained open. It was hard to come to conclusions and there was much dissatisfaction about the way the meetings went. There were three long meetings for each 10-week period. So when issues were not dealt with in one meeting they had to be postponed for several weeks before we could have another go at it.
How did the introduction go?
The introduction was perfect. Willem used the smartboard to demonstrate the use of Yabbu. Willem and I prepared a Yabbu session and during the meeting we introduced all participants to the concept. Yabbu is so easy to use that everyone got it after the introduction and started using it. Meetings have become an ongoing process according to the Yabbu philosophy. To ensure that this process runs smoothly, we have drawn up rules about the use within our team. Most agenda items are closed 2 days before the meeting so that we can focus on the agenda items that need more time.
What did it bring you?
There has been much more structure and the meetings are more crisp and fun. There is much less talk back and forth. When agenda items are closed, we just focus on the remaining issues. You have the opportunity to respond to 2 days before the meeting and the person who has added the item to the agenda is authorized to close the point. A big advantage is that we no longer have to make minutes and have to create a separate task list. Everything can be found in one place and everyone has the opportunity to respond without going into discussions. In short, Yabbu is simple, efficient and fun and we see much higher participation rates.