Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome to Our Meeting Blog!

We don’t mean time-wasting, boring meetings. We mean meetings that matter--where people make decisions, solve problems, and implement plans. We—Marv and Sandra—have been running meetings around the world since the 1980’s. We’ve learned three things that led us to this blog:
1. All the world’s important business gets done in meetings.
2. Nearly everybody hates meetings.
3. To run meetings that people love, we had to UNLEARN most of the practices we used to rely on.
In our meetings, for example, we once met a lot resistance and defensiveness. We used to spend 80% of the time on 20% of the problems that had no solutions. We used to plunge ahead with meetings whether or not the right people were there. We used to have people set priorities by making lists and then voting on their top three. We used to worry ourselves sick trying to control the uncontrollable—people’s motivations, attitudes, and behavior. We used to worry about people taking responsibility.
NOT ANY MORE. Never again. No how, no way.
In this blog we will tell what we learned about making our meetings successful. More, we want this site to be interactive. We invite you to post your own best and worst experiences and to react to ours. What do you want to know about meetings? If you join us here you will have access to the best meeting advice from pros and amateurs all over the world. The information is free, and so is the dialogue. We hope you’ll take part, tell your friends, and log on often.

--Sandra Janoff & Marvin Weisbord, Co-Directors of Future Search Network, the international non-profit whose members run meetings in any culture, any language, for whatever people can afford. www.futuresearch.net for more info. For more on us, click at the right.


  1. Sandra and Marv,

    Congratulations - you're blogging! Awesome! Best wishes with this endeavor! Would love to catch up sometime soon!


    Kevin Jarrett

  2. Dear Sandra and Marv,

    I'm so glad to see your blog! I look forward to reading it, and participating in this conversation.

    I recently started a blog, too, and I invite you to take a look. I've been writing about Nine Assumptions and Ten Realities:


    On Monday, I'm facilitating a meeting for a newly-merged department. The request is to help them develop shared values, on which to base their strategic planning, and their future work together. I'll keep you in mind, and practice just standing there...

    Warm Regards, and Happy New Year!

    Saul Eisen

  3. Hi Sandra and Marv,
    Great plan to start this blog! Looks good too. I wish you a lot of interaction. I'll add a link to this blog on my websites.

    A very good 2009, warm greetings,
    Tonnie van der Zouwen

  4. Thanks Kevin, Saul and Tonnie, for your good wishes. Saul, you could do worse than stand there. Read the soccer research I'm about to post.

    --Marv Weisbord

  5. It is interesting to know how one can take a step back from contributing towards a boring and unproductive meeting. I've encountered countless number of such meetings but have yet to find a way around it. Could it be that we are lacking a meeting facilitator, themeweaver or are we just not clear about how to hold a fruitful meeting?

    Garvin Chow