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It's a marathon, not a sprint. Orchestrating effective meetings

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Just as our Co-founder & CEO Peter Straatsma triumphed over the challenging 26.2 miles of the New York City Marathon, there's a parallel to be drawn with orchestrating effective meetings across any organisation. Each type of meeting mirrors a stage in the marathon, with distinct personas playing critical roles in navigating the course.

🚀 The Starting Gun - Kick-off Meetings: At the marathon's start, there's a burst of excitement, mirroring the energy of kick-off meetings. The 'Engager' sets the pace, outlining the journey ahead. It's about beginning with clarity, much like focusing on the distant skyline of New York City, envisioning the finish.

🌉 Bridging Gaps - Decision-Making Meetings: As the bridges connect boroughs, decision-making meetings connect ideas to actions. Enter the 'Smooth Operator'—this persona diplomatically navigates through differing opinions, ensuring a seamless transition from discussion to decision, as crucial as a well-timed water stop along the race.

👥 The Supporters - Team-Building Meetings: The cheering crowds are the soul of the marathon, akin to the essence of team-building meetings. Here, the 'Dominator' draws on the crowd's energy, fostering camaraderie and resilience, reminding the team that every step is a step together.

The Steady Rhythm - Information Sharing Meetings: The marathon's rhythm is steady and enduring, much like the flow of an information-sharing meeting. The 'Engager' ensures the delivery is engaging, keeping the momentum without overwhelming, much like pacing oneself between the race's start and finish.

🗣 The Inner Voice - Feedback and Review Meetings: Throughout the marathon, the runner's inner voice offers constant feedback. In the meeting room, it's the 'Silent Observer' who provides this insight, ensuring the team can recalibrate and adjust, striving for that personal best in performance.

🧠 The Strategy - Problem-Solving Meetings: In the marathon's final miles, strategy is everything. In problem-solving meetings, 'Silent Observers' and 'Devils Advocates' come together to navigate the last challenging stretches, harnessing collective wisdom to find the path to resolution.

Completing the NYC Marathon is a testament to endurance, strategy, and collective effort—qualities that are equally vital in the realm of business meetings. By embracing the roles of 'Project Lead', 'Smooth Operator', and others, we embody the marathon spirit, pushing forward with determination and teamwork to achieve our corporate goals.

As Peter has demonstrated, the disciplines of marathon running and meeting management are interlinked. It's about knowing when to sprint, when to pace, and most importantly, how to harness the collective energy to reach that final, rewarding stretch.

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