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Creating a COVID-19 Recovery culture:

the weekly team meeting

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 19 seconds

Ahead of the meeting – Clarify and share the purpose of the meeting; is it information, innovation, connection? For team meetings, psychological safety is key; keep the same weekly schedule, same sequence, same technology and structure. Send the agenda and set expectations (particularly where you will require input)

Opening – Begin the meeting with an ice breaker activity; (Google is your friend here) it may feel cheesy but to generate that ‘team vibe’ via technology we need to be deliberate in energising ourselves and the group.

Shout outs – Recognise individuals who have made noteworthy achievements in the past week. You may wish to choose or to ask others on the team to pick out people who they think deserve recognition (don’t be miserly bit don’t do so many that others feel left out!)

Overall, set a tone of heroic optimism in adversity as this will define your future culture.

General updates – News from each member of the team that applies to all present, including updates on actions form the last meeting

Group work – Split the meeting into smaller subgroups using the breakout rooms function. Give each subgroup an issue to discuss, or a problem to fix and where possible groups should contain representatives from different areas of the organisation to enable cross-team working. This is important in terms of reinforcing the value of each person’s input, connecting with and supporting each other more closely, as well as providing space for creative problem solving.


Pairs work – Split into pairs using breakout rooms. These pairs of ‘thinking buddies’ could change weekly, or you may wish to keep the same pairs of people working together for a number of weeks at a time. Each person has five minutes each to speak their thoughts aloud, uninterrupted, with their partner’s full attention. After which they can discuss mutual ideas. The focus can be a problem they are trying to resolve, or ideas to contribute to other projects. (Contact me or see the work on Nancy Kline for more on this.)

Plenary – Return to a whole group meeting and share findings. Be very supportive and find three points of merit in each idea. Then identify the action points and put a timeline on each of these. They will provide the points for discussion on the next team meeting agenda.

Feedback – The opportunity for team feedback on any aspect of project or team working

Optional ‘Healthy head’ chat – an option to stay on the call to talk about experiences of remote working and the crisis in general. At least one representative from the leadership team should stay on to listen to people’s concerns and generate ideas to better take care of their team during this time. Those who do not wish to participate should be able to leave the meeting, but everyone should be invited.

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