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The Municipality of Delft was looking for help with training internal meeting leaders in facilitating team meetings for the strategic change programme. We developed a tool, for the Municipality but also primarily with the Municipality, dealing with how to hold fruitful meetings and how others could be helped in this as well.
Involve provided support to the Municipality of Delft from March 2017 to October 2017 in the change project “Delft Doet”.
The programme manager of a strategic change programme within the municipality was looking for a meeting trainer to give people training in supporting team meetings about the change. So why did they think of us? It was due to our book “De Gespreksfluisteraar” [The Meeting Whisperer] in which we provide starting points and tips for valuable meetings and discussions within organisations. The programme manager’s objective was to create a safe zone so that teams could talk to each other comfortably about what they needed in order to achieve success for the common course and strategy.
We did not provide an off-the-peg solution. With an enthusiastic group of meeting support people, we uncovered the success factors for meetings within the Municipality. In this process, the participants learned a lot from each other, seeing that they could help each other, through feedback, towards excellent preparation for supporting the meetings. The method with our training courses was to hold meetings about holding meetings. And we discussed together what happened in the meetings and how to deal with them.
We set off with a pilot session for meeting support staff and adapted our course on the basis of the feedback. The participants undertook role-play and exercises for their roles as facilitators at the team meetings and for dealing with any resistance within the group dynamic. We developed a tool about how to hold satisfactory meetings and how to help others towards this end. This entire process was a co-creation, with one result being a “Delft Manual” containing backgrounds and tips from staff members.
Our endeavours made it clear that employees still had little idea about the strategic change programme. This insight helped the Municipality of Delft to refocus the essence and urgency of its change approach. And it generated properly prepared meeting support staff.