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The One Thing all employees love: Meaningful discussions

As we talk to our clients, run workshops, and interview people, one revelation stands out: employees crave more meaningful discussions. It's not about better tools, improved processes, superior management, or clear leadership. The one thing they need more of is simple yet profound: discussion!

This need has only grown stronger in the aftermath of the pandemic, as those spontaneous, everyday interactions have dwindled. People yearn to learn from each other, to exchange ideas, and to receive affirmation for their opinions.

Let's be clear, though: people don’t need more meetings. Typical meetings revolve around the mundane details—the What, When, Who, and How. What employees truly need are those conversations where they can step back, gain perspective, and tackle the big Why questions.

Questions to foster deeper discussions

Here are some of our go-to questions that spark deeper, more meaningful dialogue:

  • Why is a shared strategy important for us? Do you know your role in our strategy?

  • Who do we serve, and how could we exceed their expectations? What kind of company can achieve that, and how do we become that company?

  • What obstacles are blocking our strategy, and how can we overcome them together?

  • What internal and external trends affect our future? How can we leverage them?

  • Why do we matter?

Why some managers hesitate

Despite the clear benefits, some managers are reluctant to organize these discussions. Here are a few common reasons:

  • Time investment: Taking experts away from their tasks means losing valuable hours.

  • Clarity of outcomes: There's often uncertainty about the tangible results of these discussions.

  • Responsibility misconception: Some believe that thinking about the big picture is solely management's job.

  • Fear of more work: There's a concern that new projects may arise from these conversations.

  • Fear of revealing negatives: Managers might worry about exposing potential leadership flaws.

How to organize effective discussions

To overcome these challenges and facilitate impactful discussions, consider these strategies:

  • Scalability: Use the right tools and skills to engage up to 300 people in a single discussion or divide them into smaller groups.

  • Integration: Combine discussions with other live events or organize online sessions for broader participation.

  • Clear focus: Define a specific topic, such as "Dialogue about our new strategy."

  • Dialogue: Create a chain of discussions that build on each other, ensuring participants feel heard and valued.

  • Collaborate with internal communications: Ensure that discussions and innovative ideas resonate throughout the company.

  • Optional outcomes: While producing tangible outcomes like white papers or video series is beneficial, it is not mandatory. The primary goal is to foster engagement and ideation.

The greatest achievement

Imagine the power of bringing smart, passionate people together to discuss the big questions. The potential for innovation, unity, and forward momentum is immense.

So, what’s stopping you from fostering these meaningful conversations within your company?



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