X is an international NGO with long history, having branches in many countries. The Taiwan branch just finished their re-election of board. By rule, it should hold a board meeting soon. X had tried different ways of holding the meeting. This year it would like to convey internaltional headquater's new strategy in this meeting, to forge consensus on the key points of future work for the teams to follow.
New Personnel, New Affairs
Not only the board members, everyone in the organization was invited to this meeting. After interviewing several key persons, Open Quest found some board members were very familiar with status quo, some were not. It is because X recruits prominent and respected persons form the society as its board members, changing members are very often. It is natural that those who very new to X were not familiar with status quo. The meeting is only one day. How to let new people know both other people and X's affairs in such a short time became a challenge.
The Need To Know Each Other
Open Quest also found that many people felt confused or vague when it came to X's future role in the society, which was very important to their work and needed to be defined more clearly. This became another challenge of the meeting, but also a potential breakthrough point. The operation team and borad don't have many opportunities to communicate with each other, they wanted to know thoughts of each other and got the anwser to the questions that they thought only the other can answer.
Warm Up Went Well
With learnings from information from interviews, Open Quest deliberately designed the meeting procedure, trying to let everyone has chance to have conversation with different person on different topics, and therefore facilitated information exchange. The warm up activity went well. Colleagues of X are mostly professional social workers. The board members were passionate in public welfare. With help of the proceudre, it didn't take long for the group to get along well with each other.
Vivid Discusion, Opinion Taking Shape
When it came to dicussion of X's future role, mood of the group was obviously getting higher. Different opinions surfaced; there were even some debates in some tables, which catalyzed very brilliant discussion for social welfare.During the vision workshop after lunch, mood of the group went even higher. Open Quest team were originally thinking to save more time for the action planning session later, but now the group dynamic had demonstrate that vision workhop was the main focus of this meeting. So we left most time of the afternoon for the vision workshop.
Importance of Vision
Importance of vision workshop demonstrated during the process. Board members came from different places of the society. Certainly they had very different perspectives about the future of the organization. But employees also have their perspectives from their daily operation. During the session, you could see excitement when there is intense discussion and consensus. Many discussion went deep to mission and value of the organization. The group tried to use very precise wording to articulate their goals. Whenever a vision element came out, the facilitator would confirm with the CEO whether it is an clear enough direction for work of the teams. He wanted to make sure the vision fully connected to execution. Board members accomplished a very solid vision co-creation process with the teams.
The group was so passionate about the vision workshop, so when the workshop is over, there was not much time left for action planning. As a result, the ending of the meeting became a touching moment for sharing their commitment for the vision. The group showed their their passion in the meeting, and wanted to last after the meeting. This is a great team that can be serious and playful. The new chairman invited everyone to a great restaurant for dinner and had a great time together. This outstanding teams should be able to make good use of rapport and solid consensus created in this meeting to create their ideal future.