Small Shifts for Big Differences: How to Have Better Meetings

What if business meetings were something you looked forward to? Maggie Chumbley explains how small shifts in how you approach meetings can yield big differences in outcomes.

Get the Most Out of the Collective Intelligence of Your Team

Business is complex. Addressing that complexity benefits from cognitive diversity. But do you get the most out of the collective intelligence of your team? Designing better meetings can, as Maggie might say, let people surprise you with what they can contribute.

We’re wired to think linearly. That is, we tend to assume that big changes in desired outputs require big changes to inputs or process. In Maggie’s experience, that need not be the case.

Metaphorically, she draws upon her experience as a yoga instructor. Sometimes, a small shift in a familiar pose results in a dramatic improvement. Maggie finds the same is often true with business meetings.

Maggie’s approach to conversation design has had a major impact on our work here at Human Scale Business. In particular, we’ve seen how her innovative use of Zoom break out rooms, Liberating Structures facilitation techniques, and synchronous tools such as Google Docs can transform the familiar. Instead of dull, dreary, and passive, meetings become stimulating, energizing, and productive.


In our podcast conversation, Maggie mentions a couple resources in which you may be interested:

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

Liberating Structures: Including and Unleashing Everyone