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All in

Craig explains two characteristics of a successful group process he facilitated: all in, and two votes. All group members were “all in” for every meeting (three meetings happened the same day each week for three weeks in a row). And the group took two formal votes – one to affirm the process at the start, and one to affirm a written recommendation at the end.

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody!

Hey, it’s Craig Freshley here, talking to you today from beautiful downtown Lewiston, Maine. I want to tell you about a process that I just completed for a nonprofit organization. This group had a big decision to make, so the board commissioned a committee to make a recommendation.

At the very beginning of the process we decided that this committee should be made up of 10 people – some from the board, some from the staff. We also decided to have just three meetings, three hours each, and we decided that every one of those 10 people should attend every meeting from start to finish.

It worked really well. And one of the reasons it worked really well is because every person was all in. Look, when you have people coming in and out of a process, it causes huge inefficiencies and it’s hard to really gel as a team. You know what it’s like – when somebody misses the first meeting they’re apt to say things that would require all the rest of us to hash through stuff that we already hashed through.

It’s a big commitment, but let me tell you there is a lot to be said for that “all in” commitment. You would be surprised at how it contributes to your sense of unity; sense of being a team. And it really helps your efficiency.

I want to tell you another thing about this process that we did. We took two formal votes over the course of nine hours of meeting. One at the beginning, one at the end. The one that we took at the beginning was our affirmation of the committee charge and the ground rules. The one that we took at the end was our complete approval of a written agreement. Having these two agreements bookend the process also really helped in terms of group unity and efficiency.

I hope this helps your group make good decisions!

Thanks for listening everybody.

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