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  • Writer's pictureDon Cruickshank


Have you ever been to an AGM? If you have, chances are that a lot of time is spent on the past. And while people need to know what has happened in the past year, focusing mainly on the past is a waste of everyone's time.

Think about it, if all you are going to do is read the booklets and the reports, and then have questions around that, then why gather. Or why spend so much time meeting?

Have you ever lead an AGM? Was it exciting or just a task to complete.

1) All the AGMsI have led have been exciting? Why? Because we focus on the future for the majority of the time. Hopes, dreams, passions, collective wisdom, is where the majority of the time is spent.

2) We also look for participation and assume silence does not equal agreement but rather a quiet disagreement. So if there is little discussion on a certain topic, I will mine for divergent voices.

3) Reports? They come at the end. (In fact, reports should come at the end of every meeting.) Why? Reports will take as much time as you give them and will go overtime if time permits, and will eat up time and energy.

4) One of the laws of performance is that the language of the future is a better way to move people in unison, I intend to keep the focus future-oriented.

When it comes to the budget portion of the meeting I love to grow expectations. One of my favorite questions to ask is this, "If money was not an issue, what would you love to see us do and achieve?"

This question opens up people's minds, and as the board, you get to hear their hopes and dreams. You may not be able to act on these hopes and dreams right away, but you will get a better sense of the member's desires and you can start planning and moving in that direction.

Asking that question also gives members a real sense of ownership (which can quickly be extinguished in the moderator, or member of the board hears the hope, dream, or passion, and replies with reasons why they can't do that.)

Look, people know you cannot act on these right away, because you asked them a "what if" question. So there is no need to state why at this current time it cannot be done. Do not kill passion by evaluating or defending why you cannot do it.

As members and stakeholders see the hopes, dreams, passions, and desires, their desire for the organization to grow and be financially healthy increases so that the "what if" ideas can be accomplished.

Don Cruickshank, MALM (Masters in Leadership & Management)

*Certified in Team Leadership

*Leading From Your Strengths Certified Trainer, Coach, Consultant

- Empowering individuals and organizations towards creating successful futures 

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