July 31, 20203 Minutes

All Forums have a personality.

It begins the day of your first Forum meeting and it evolves over time. For a quick view of your Forum’s personality, try this simple exercise.

Draw the quadrants below and describe each label on the grid. Then ask people to place two symbols on the chart – one for where they feel the Forum is today, and one for where they would like the Forum to be in the future.

Living Room versus Board Room

  • Living Room Forums are more relaxed and casual.
  • Board Room Forums are more attentive to structure, timing and protocols.

Strategic versus Tactical

  • Strategic Forums focus on big picture discussions, high-level conceptual thinking and visioning.
  • Tactical Forums focus on “how to” conversations, discussing tools and tactics to take action on.

Ask each person to identify and share where they think the Forum is today and where they would like it to be. Then, engage in a conversation on how the Forum could adapt current practices to best fit the needs of the group.

This exercise could be repeated on an annual basis as viewpoints will vary over time. By keeping a pulse on what is working and not working, the Forum can evolve and explore new ways of ensuring value is brought to all members on a continuing basis.

Another similar exercise is Forum Alignment (The 3 B’s).