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Developing Goals and Objectives

Posted on April 03, 2007

By Joan Eisenstodt

Yesterday, Q-storming™ was explored a bit more in depth and a look at some of the questions that could be asked about speakers/learning facilitators were developed.  Today let’s go back and look at developing goals and objectives for meetings by asking better questions.

The first obvious question: Why are we considering holding this face to face meeting?

Oh there will be obvious answers! For now, continue with questions and watch how they begin to group.

Is our meeting held primarily for networking? What is networking to our organization? How have we successfully provided networking experiences in the past? What do our participants want to accomplish by networking? Is the atmosphere for all networking events conducive to the participants’ and organization’s needs? 

If our meeting is held primarily to disseminate information, in what way might we do so? Must information  always be disseminated at a f2f [face to face] meeting? Who will provide the information?  Who best delivers the information? Is there anyone who has been a better deliverer than others?  Who do the participants most trust? (The last question is a good one to ask if there is information that may be difficult to deliver and receive, such as about layoffs – or downsizing or rightsizing – or other issues not comfortable for anyone.) If we deliver the information via email or other written method, must be meet f2f?  If a virtual meeting were held, how would that impact the receipt of the information?  Is attendance at the meeting mandatory?  If attendance is not mandatory, how might they otherwise participate?

As you begin to look at who may attend, consider the influences of the audience and their needs as you develop a meeting’s goals and objectives:
How often has this group met? Who among the participants is or is likely to be new to the group?  What are the demographics of the group – age ranges? gender mix? abilities? length of time in the profession and/or with the organization? interests?  For how many participants should we plan? What implications are there to developing the agenda and the goals and objectives based on the demographics?  From where will they travel? How will travel times impact our schedule of events and thus the goals and objectives?

Continue to think about the goals and objectives based on the stakeholders: Are our stakeholders owners? management? employees and/or members? boards of directors and sponsors or vendors?  What outcomes will satisfy each stakeholder group? In what way will these needs impact our outcomes? Our agenda?

Time consuming, isn’t it?  It sometimes is brain-taxing as well to think of all the questions.  Once you get in the habit of asking questions from the start, your brain develops in to a ‘question-thinking brain’ and anticipates what next.

For now, build on these questions.  Ask questions to the questions – see what happens as you begin to think differently.  Give yourself time to do this – don’t rush to the answers.  Post some of your questions here on the MiGuru section.  Let’s see how large a list of questions we can develop and from which we all can learn.  And yes, you may add some fun ones – like ‘why is this knight different from all other knights?’  which is a bit of a play on words for this season of Pesach!


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Vicky Betzig, CMP

Here's a good question to ask: Why would attendees come to the meeting, giving up both work time and personal time to attend? What would make it "worth their while" to be at this meeting? What would they need to walk away with that would make them say "I'm glad I spent the time (and or $$) to attend this meeting"? OK - that's actually 3 questions!

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