Uday Salunkhe

Designing Productive meetings Co-authored By Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool

Introduction


The Research paper introduces a new method of conducting efficient and productive meetings using the elements of Design thinking. Holding effective meetings is a necessary part of the democratic framework of decision making process. With the business moving faster than ever, meetings are how we stay informed. Meetings provide a democratic and collaborative way of realizing a shared goal.

Dr. Uday Salunkhe, WeSchool explains “Today's professionals are attending more meetings than ever done in the past. The case is not only so in India but in other countries as well.”

Measuring the productivity of meetings:


In any meeting the outcome is to find multiple possible solutions to a defined problem, the more the ideas get generated for solutions, the more is the chance of getting good quality ideas. This happens because as the ideas begin to flow, there arises an opportunity to build upon each other’s ideas and keep refining the quality of ideas till the point of satisfaction.

Thus the best parameter to judge the productivity of the meeting is the number of ideas generated in the meeting. In turn, the number of ideas generated is a function of the ‘Creative thinking’ abilities of the members of the group.

Design Thinking:


It provides a new approach in management education that bases itself on the need of looking at the Management education from a humane and holistic perspective rather than creating the silos of functional specialization and resource utilization.


According to Prof Dr. Uday Salunkhe, elements of Design thinking architecture of Management education are:
  • Creative thinking
  • Human perspective
  • Observation¬†
  • Visual Communication
  • Questioning mind
  • Project based learning & Prototyping.


Snow-ball Method:

Generally the meetings are conducted in a group discussion mode, which inherently does not follow any set rules of speaking or listening. In this method, more emphasis is laid on first sharing the observations and pain-points related to the issue being discussed, listening to each other’s ideas for plausible solutions and then either build on them or add your own new ideas.

Design:

We made an experimental design to see whether this ‘Snow-ball Method’ actually makes the meetings more productive or not, which led us to formulate the following Hypothesis.

The Hypothesis:

We decided to test the hypothesis experimentally by having a group conduct the meeting by each of the two methods. Thus the ‘treatment’ was the snow-ball method and the ‘control’ was the Group Discussion. We envisaged that the composition of the group may impact the results, so we took the group composition as the ‘blocking’ or ‘noise’ factor.

Dr. Uday Salunkhe’s conclusion for Snow ball method:

  • Snow-ball method is significantly superior to the Group Discussion in the task of finding solution to the problem stated.
  • Group composition does not matter.
  • Snow-ball is a “robust” method.

Prof Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool says to conclude the paper “We have used this method to test the number of creative ideas generated during meetings, it could be used to test the ‘Decision making skills’ or the ‘consensus building skills’ in meetings. Similarly the measuring parameters could change to ‘type of ideas’ instead of ‘quality of ideas’. With this research we have introduced a new process of conducting productive meetings using one of the elements of ‘Design Thinking’. ¬†

Contributed by Anuja Agarwal, Dr. S. Gondhalekar and Prof Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool.

 

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