Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Planning The Next Three Meetings"

Lately, there had been too many last minute emails, desperate sms and phone calls asking for role players.

In response, last Thursday, I delivered an advance project speech sharing my experience on an easier way to plan the next 3 meetings in advance. That way, we can spend less time chasing after role players and more time on preparing and fine tuning our speeches and spicing up our meeting roles.

Anything mammoth effort can be done easier if we break it down into simple steps.

As an analogy, how to put an elephant into a refrigerator. Just 3 steps - open the door, put in the elephant - close the door!

Now how about putting a a giraffe into the refrigerator. 3 steps? No, it is 4 steps - open the door - take out the elephant - put in the giraffe - close the door!

So to plan the next 3 meetings, we can use 4 simple steps with the acronym "AARR"
A - Ask, A - Assign, R - Report, R - Replace

ASK: Ask for CC and AC project speakers first. To decorate a glass container, you would put the important stones first, then pebbles, then sand and lastly the water. So handle the major roles first.

Club members planning to achieve their CC, AC or new enthusiastic members are waiting to be asked. Ask during club meeting. Allocate 5-10 minutes before the close of meeting, before everyone rush off. Ask when everyone is all charged up and more likely to just do it. Positive peer pressure helps too.

ASSIGN: If not enough volunteers, do not wait, just assign immediately.

If a member objects violently, then ask what role the member would prefer instead. Everyone has to play a role or two to help out and rotate roles so that everyone can learn and grow.

In a club meeting with five project speeches, there can be up to 20 roles requried. So just fill in the blanks with names of available club members who are actively attending meetings.

For Bayan Baru, it is great to have over 40 members. And with the usual 20 to 30 members attend, there are enough players to play magical chairs. But important is to assing the roles early, 3 meetings in advance. This will allow sufficient preparation for better learning and self-development. For new members, if assigned role in the third meeting, they have plenty of opportunity to observe how the roles are performed by others in the next two meetings before their turn in their maiden roles.

REPORT: Immediately email out the roles assigned to all club members.

By putting it in black and white, it will avoid forgetting who had signed up for a certain role and making it a first come first serve basis.

When in print, it is like a MOU and an IOU. It is a ROU - "Role Officially Undertaken". OK, ROU is a new term that I have coined up.

Once reported, please do not later request a member to postpone their project to the next meeting or make way for another member, This can be disheartening, devasting and demoralizing. Respect a ROU.

REPLACEMENT: Many members do not want to commit three meeetings or even one meeting in advance for fear that they cannot make it.

Reassure them to go for it as we can always have replacement if they cannot do it last minute. Every member can do any role, even double roles or triple roles. So using replacement is a great back-up plan for success.

In summary, We do not plan to fail but often fail to plan. Using 5-10 minutes of the meeting program time to plan the next three meetings when everyone is present can go a long way to plan for succes.

Use the 4 steps "AARR" to help you to plan the next three meetings. It is an investment that will bear great fruits to the club educational program and help club members to achieve their educational goals step by step. May the force of planning be with you always.

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