Amoco Production Company – part of the US Amoco Corporation – late 1980ties embarked upon a strategy for employee involvement – and key words in this strategy included communication, involvement, participation and interaction.
A key part of the strategy recognized that meetings were an important part of the way business was conducted in that company. In support of this, the company launched a one-day training course to improve staff and management skills in prepare meetings, evaluation and follow through. In addition, participants were also provided with a whole set of tools and templates to help both meeting owners and meeting participants. To sustain the learning from the course, as well as other related change initiatives in support of advancing employee involvement, the company put in place a number of internal process consultants who reported to top management at each locations across the world. These consultants were recruited from various disciplines within the local organization, provided with extensive relevant training, and subsequently supported the change effort on a full-time basis. They would among others attend team meetings, guide the meeting owners as well as participants to get the most out of the meetings, and provided feedback and suggestions to improve effectiveness.
The result of this change effort, the meeting effectiveness increased significantly as well as number of meetings decreased impact of the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization. It is indicated that improvement of the meetings effectiveness and efficiency, went from approximately 30-40% up to 70-80%.
This change journey was ongoing until end of the 1990ties when Amoco merged with BP.
The story is a great example on Meeting Design which knowledge have come a long way since this happened. Now we are also equipped with Meeting & Collaboration Management to secure a long-living professional management function of meetings, collaboration and problem solving.