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Instead of sending out an agenda,

how about posing an inquiry question

Are you keen to get people collaborating, co-creating and co-constructing rather than simply being told ‘stuff’?

A great way to do this is to send out an inquiry question that will guide the get together so that people come ready to go. It's also a great way to have people gain some of that psychological safety I mentioned in my previous blog by giving them a focus for discussion and an opportunity to reflect on it BEFORE the meeting. (Hallelujah say all those who like time to think, rather than simply time to speak!)

Collaborative inquiry is a powerful way to develop innovation, growth, willingness to try different things, new ways to approach complexity.
Make sure your inquiry questions set the frame for exploration, not simply information giving.
Here is an example of a meeting that will most likely be simply about information giving:
Meeting purpose: Update on current status of project partners.
Stale. Boring. Yawn.
20% of the room will dominate.
80% will say very little.
People will tune in when it’s their turn and then tune out.
50% in the room have heard it all before through other meetings.
Gerry from marketing will get on his normal bandwagon from 1994 and then it will be all over.
Momentum = zero.
Here’s a quick email/meeting setup that will help to guide exploration:
‘Looking forward to seeing you at our project meet up next week. Attached is the agenda.
Our Collaborative Inquiry question for the meeting is:
'What forward group and individual actions do we need to undertake to continue the project’s momentum?'
You’ll still do a quick update - but it won’t be the focus.
The focus will be on exploring momentum, what’s working, what’s not, what are we trying to achieve, what’s needed and by who.

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Inquiry questions elevate our thinking to be one of curiosity and reflection. They focus us on wondering and seeking further perspective.

Here are some examples:
‘What are our customers saying to us?’
‘What is surprising us about the work so far?’
‘What outcomes are you seeking from this partnership?’
‘What does success look like for this project?’
‘How do the new regulations impact on our work in this space?’
You get the gist. Let people reflect on what they think about the questions, and most importantly facilitate your collaborations so that people have a voice. More than a voice, the people in the room become co-creators, rather than simply at the table.
Not only will the more internally reflective people thank you for the space to think, you’ll get far better results.
What great inquiry questions can you use for your next collaborative meeting?

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The book ISH by Lynne Cazaly is a fabulous read for those of us with a perfectionist streak. The tagline of The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough is enough to make me want to leave ironing my tea towels and sit down and have a good read.

For those of us who like to listen, The Tim Ferriss Show Podcast is one I highly recommend. He is the guy who changed a lot of people's world when he wrote: The 4 Hour Work Week ( or made us very jealous). he interviews amazing and interesting people
Never have time to read books? I use Blinkist, an app that takes business and self-development books and turns them into book audio or written chapter 'blinks'. Great for getting the gist of the premise of a book, and whether you want to add it to your bookshelf.
For those Brene Brown lovers out there (and if you've not come across her before - then check out her top-watched TED Talk The Power of Vulnerability), did you know that The Call to Courage is now on Netflix. An hour of insight, laughter and reflection on vulnerability and courage.