How to Easily Drive Better Strategy and Decision-Making

female board chair addresses directors during board meeting
Paroon Chadha Photo
Co-Founder and CEO

4 minutes

The ‘Flipped’ meeting model leverages director and leadership experience for organization growth.

Sponsored by Passageways

About a decade ago educators began experimenting with a teaching methodology known as the “flipped classroom.” In a traditional classroom setting, the teacher delivers a lecture and proceeds to explore those concepts during the class period. This is generally the students first exposure to the material. Students are then tasked to complete related homework outside of the classroom, ensuring they’ve mastered the subject. 

In the flipped classroom, the process is reversed. Lessons are delivered to students outside of the class period via reading assignments, structured materials or video tutorials. To master the lessons, work assignments are performed during the class period when students can learn from and collaborate with their peers and teacher.

Introduced first in elementary schools, the flipped classroom is now used at all levels of instruction through college and graduate courses, and has shown marked improvements in knowledge retention, test scores, and course pass percentages. 

We All Know Meetings Suck. So Now What?

There is no organizational activity more dreaded than the meeting. In a recent study by the University of North Carolina and published in the Harvard Business Review, 83 percent of executives surveyed believed meetings were an unproductive use of group and individual time, but a necessary evil. The online meeting company Fuze conducted a survey published by that shows meeting attendees receive limited value as well 90 percent admitted to multitasking during the group sessions. How is everyone engaged and participating if they are doing something else?

The bigger problem with most meetings is that they aren’t really meetings at all – they’re presentations. Consider this scenario. You walk into a room to attend an hour-long meeting called by a senior manager. You take a seat as the lights are dimmed and a PowerPoint presentation begins. The manager walks you through their topic, slide-by-slide, finishing their presentation in 50 minutes. The lights come on, the manager looks at the attendees and asks for your thoughts and feedback. It’s likely everyone in the room just had their first exposure to the content, struggling to provide valuable feedback. 

These are presentations, not meetings. 

Fixing Meetings By Flipping Them

The issue is clear. When meetings are presentations, there is little time for discussion and decision-making by attendees. Assumptions are made without correct context, ideas are formalized without input of past experience, and incomplete strategies are executed that subsequently fail.

A proven answer is to adopt the flipped meeting. Rather than spending meeting time viewing presentation slides, reading printed materials or being unengaged while multi-tasking, the group receives the meetings content in advance, making it mandatory to pre-read the materials. When they arrive, they immediately hit the ground running fulfilling on the promise of what a meeting should be about.

Attendees of flipped meetings come prepared to discuss, brain storm and problem-solve. Having digested and internalized the meetings focus ahead of their gathering, attendees are empowered to make smarter, more strategic and timelier decisions. Less time is wasted; attendees are engaged; meetings are more valuable.

While the flipped meeting is simple in its concept, it’s impact across an organization can be monumental. That’s why many of the most innovative organizations such as LinkedIn, Amazon and the U.S. Airforce have used the flipped technique to transform their meetings into highly engaging, collaborative and productive work sessions. 

Flipping a meeting only requires that the meeting organizer share their materials ahead of time, keep the squarely on the subject at hand. 

Technology can help execute the flipped meeting model. For example, some board meeting software solutions can distribute content and materials in real-time including updates, so the meeting attendees always have the latest version. Board administrators or meeting organizers can build an agenda that they can upload and attach documents, images or video files to each agenda item. The agenda and meeting materials are to be reviewed in advance, on any device (such as an iPhone, tablet or laptop so that they arrive at the meeting prepared for real discussion and problem solving. 

Start having better organizational outcomes today by flipping meetings and enabling them with an easy to use board meeting solution. 

Paroon Chadha co-founded CUES Supplier member Passageways, Lafayette, Indiana, in 2003 and continues to lead its business strategy, as CEO. He serves on boards at Passageways, Big Brother Big Sister of Greater Lafayette, Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and TechPoint. He was a founding member of, and is an angel investor in several technology companies. Recently, Paroon was accepted as a member for Forbes Technology Council.

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