This process is specifically designed for planning one agenda item:  however, the basic structure can work for a whole meeting as well, adding in more tools for each stage. The basic structure follows the ORID thinking process to develop clarity for more, insight, and consensus. A worksheet is available in our Meetings that Work course.
Articulate the Background and Intent of the Agenda Item
Describe the topic, highlighting the key concerns to be addressed. What you actually know.
List participants. Make notes that describe the participants’ history with the topic, styles and experience. Be very objective.
Rational Aim (s)
What results, products or outcomes are necessary?
Experiential Aim (s)
What does the impact on the people need to be?

Design the Stages in the Process
These stages are in a specific order that follows a natural thinking and problem-solving process.  They may be accomplished with one tool or method, or there may be a different tool for each stage.  Write your own content procedures in detail in each stage, including the words you will use to give the participants instructions.
Intent of this stage:  Getting the discussion started
E.g. topic, history, purpose, facts, data, understanding of information

Basic information
Intent of this stage:  Laying the foundation for discussion with the information needed
E.g. concrete starting point, facts, data, understanding of information

Intent of this stage:  Expressing initial, personal reactions, associations and feelings
E.g. reactions, responses, feelings, associations, connections with related ideas and topics

Intent of this stage:  Discussing the major ideas, dealing with the heart of the topic.
E.g. analysis, synthesis, weighing options, establishing criteria, examining implications and direction

Choices / Decisions
Intent of this stage:  Choices and decisions are made – consensus is articulated.
E.g. conclusions, decisions, choices, consensus, next steps, priorities, assignments, action plans, budgets

Intent of this stage:  Bringing the event to closure.
E.g. topic, history, purpose, facts, data, understanding of information

Test the Design
Walk through all the steps in the process, as if you are leading them.  If there are awkward parts or gaps, pay attention to them and adjust the design.

Related Posts

Strategic Planning: Achieving Breakthroughs & Commitment through Co-creation

Key Takeaways:  Conventional strategic planning can cause disconnects between the people making decisions and the employees ...

Happy Clients? 4 Common Mistakes Facilitators Make.

Let's talk about some common mistakes that a facilitator makes when dealing with clients. Mistake 1: When the client makes their ...

Community Development Tools and “Buy-in” Culture

There it was again. “This has shaped up well. Now we just need to get buy-in from the users.” Hearing these words at a recent ...

Using the Historical Scan to recover from setbacks in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in China

LGBTQ+ NGOs in China operate in very oppressive environment and sustain their momentum through the close-knit relationships they b ...

Webinar: Building a Thriving Culture with a Positive Mindset

Tuesday, February 7, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST.      We are launching our newest course with a webinar. Cultural Transfo ...