For most of us, meetings are unavoidable, uninspiring, and an overall waste of everyone’s time. But, they don’t need to be. Douglas Ferguson, the founder of Voltage Control discusses how we think of meetings as passive ways to convey information when in reality, a meeting should be the place where we take action and get things done. The way Douglas and Voltage Control look at meetings is in much more of a diagnostic method. What works? What doesn’t? Can we borrow from one approach to make another work better? By applying a good design process, the meeting ends up being the place where we actually accomplish projects more than just handing out action items to hopefully complete before the next meeting. In fact, meetings should become mini-retreats and action items replaced by commitments from members of the team who come to a meeting with the understanding of what the mission and goals are, and are already taking ownership of a part of the outcomes.

If you are not satisfied with the way meetings are run at your firm or company, then Ferguson’s discussion is a great place to start. There are a number of templates and guidebooks on the Voltage Control website as well to get you started.

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Information Inspirations

As many in the media and information fields worry about disinformation/misinformation, one acronym to think about when reviewing the credibility of information is “EMAIL”. (Yes, everyone knows it is a terrible abbreviation, so we’ve pitched “MAILE” (pronounced my-Lee) as an alternative.) Think of the Evidence, Motive, Activity, Intent, and Lables surrounding the information you have. Is it questionable, or too good to be true? Both reporters and information professionals rely upon credible information and sources, or we lose our own credibility. For more on this, check out the New York Times The Daily podcast about the issues surrounding the NY Post’s release of what they thought was the October Surprise, but what we ended up talking about was the process of how reporters verify possible hacked and leaked information.

Speaking of elections, it is very easy to get caught up in the emotions this political season. The Five Thirty-Eight Blog helps both calm some of those fears and gives you some tips on how to handle the stress everyone is feeling in 2020.

Large law firms are still finding ways of creating safe and productive work environments for their lesbian, gay, and bisexual attorneys and staff. While many have updated policies and procedures to protect sexual orientation, they are still way behind when it comes to gender identity for Trans and Queer attorneys and staff. If you’re behind on those policies, now is the time to start updating them as there will certainly be more professionals who identify as gender nonconforming entering the legal industry. Whether it is trans partners making equity status in firms like Goodwin Proctor, or a partner from Patton Squire Boggs identifying as nonbinary, there will be more people coming out in the years to come. Time to prepare.

One problem with propaganda is that once you release it into the world, it can take on a life of its own. While many may think that “Fake News” is a modern phenomenon, the Woodrow Wilson administration actually used these tactics in 1912 with the Committee on Public Information. Seems that history does have a way of repeating itself.
Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 92 – Douglas Ferguson on Doing the Work in the Meeting