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I participated in a webinar about TPS (Toyota Production System) with a focus on Visual Management the other day. The speaker, one of the remaining founders of TPS, said that it is all about to have/set a standard in whatever we do, and all other things are deviations from that standard. “If we don’t have a standard we agree upon, it is hard to cooperate”.

And then I thought about my and Peter Chadwick’s attempt to create a standard for meetings, The Chadberg Scale measuring meeting formality levels in five steps. Meetings are fun, meaningful and necessary, if we (both the chairperson and meeting participants) align our expectations in every meeting we attend. Especially in international contexts.

A standard cannot be static, like a “noun”. It has to be an ongoing process, like a “verb”. And because it is a process, it can change, and become a new improved standard. The key is the will and motivation to perform together according to what has been agreed.

The Chadberg Scale’s five formality levels have fixed boundaries, but within these boundaries there are rooms for personal preferences. We claim that any meeting you will ever attend can fit into one of these five meeting levels. You can read about the levels in detail in our book Meeting Sense. I am happy to help your team to improve you meeting standard!

With the help of a few tools such as our the Chadberg Scale and the Six Cultural Dimensions, it is easy for any team to set their meeting standard. All you need is to set aside time to create your unique ‘meeting traffic rules’.

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