Making Meetings Matter
Making Meetings Matter
Filament designs, facilitates, and hosts amazing meetings that help smart people think together better and solve problems in person. Filament’s meetings, retreats, conferences, and off-sites are collaborative, engaging, productive, and totally PowerPoint-free, and — if you’re meeting in St. Louis — happen in a creative 15,000 square foot innovation space right downtown.
Twenty years ago, Matt Homann tired of terrible meetings. Like many of us, he’d suffered “death by PowerPoint” thousands of times, and — probably because he suffers from a self-diagnosed case of “Idea Surplus Disorder” — believed there had to be a better way.
He wondered why traditionally-designed meetings were so bad at doing the things they were convened to accomplish: engage attendees, foster collaboration, promote problem-solving, and deliver measurable outcomes and meaningful results.
Building upon lessons learned as a lawyer, mediator, keynote speaker, nonprofit leader, design thinker, startup founder, and innovation facilitator, Homann leased an unfinished space in a huge building on the edge of downtown St. Louis and decided to create something brand new: a better meeting machine.
Because Filament mission is to Make Every Meeting Matter, every Filament engagement includes creative meeting design, expert facilitation, real-time visual illustration, and meaningful post-meeting artifacts that capture the work that was done and what’s left to do.
Since their opening in 2016, Filament has delivered hundreds of collaborative, problem-solving meetings for thousands of their customers’ smartest people, helping them:
• Develop New Strategies & Plan for the Future
• Imagine New Products
• Redesign Old Processes
• Build & Improve Team Culture
• Create the Case for Change
In addition, Filament has helped dozens of non-profits work better, innovate faster, and build creative teams of focused employees and engaged board members.
If you’re looking to rethink your meetings, here are three lessons from Filament:
1. Leverage the Power of Face-to-Face: If you’re meeting in person, don’t add to the agenda things you could have done virtually. Make your meeting about insight discovery, not information delivery — and remember, people prefer thinking together to (just) drinking together.
2. Space Matters: Nobody has ever had a breakthrough idea in a dimlylit hotel ballroom. A friendly, creative, and engaging space makes attendees feel better, which usually means they’ll think better, too.
3. Finally, Pay Attention to the Elephants, Squirrels, Zombies, and Porcupines: Make room for people to discuss the things hiding in plain sight (elephants), the distractions that keep groups from focusing on doing their best work (squirrels), the issues that never seem to die (zombies), and the prickly, personal challenges we’re usually afraid to discuss (porcupines). Ignoring hard conversations doesn’t make them go away — it just makes them worse.