Chaotic convening

A few years ago, I ended up becoming the Convenor of my professional group. Now, this wasn’t because of outrageous ambition or a wild desire for power. Nope: it was more along the lines of “somebody has to do it, and you look like you won’t break too much expensive or important stuff”. My predecessor was wonderful: very organised, professional, and efficient. I think I can say I took that as a challenge not to live up to…I am definitely more of a Chaotic Convenor.

This is how I convene a meeting*:

  • Fumble about with the paperwork, and realise I didn’t print out the agenda and previous meetings minutes.
  • Sheepishly ask if anyone has spare copies/steal another Committee members copy while they aren’t looking, and protest innocence and surprise when the missing papers are discovered.
  • Select which pretty colour of gel ink pen to use.
  • Ask what I’m meant to do.
  • Start going over the minutes of the previous meeting.
  • Ask if that’s what I’m meant to be doing.
  • Meander off point in an epic manner at any random point.
  • Decide it’s time for a snack.
  • Sing along to music seeping in from outside.
  • Scribble semi-comprehensible notes everywhere.
  • Descend into gossip occasionally.
  • Ask whereabouts we were in the agenda, because I lost track.
  • Be mildly cheeky to the quieter members of the Committee to provoke them into joining in.
  • Eventually discuss all the things we needed to discuss.
  • Nominate anyone but myself to do the work needing to be done (I am developing this into a fine art).
Now, if anyone wants tips on how to convene in a manner as excellent as mine, I am available for lessons.
But you’ll have to arrange the date.
And location.
And can you book the room?
Oh, can you also print out some spare copies of the agenda?
Wait a minute: what day was it again?

* This may, or may not be an entirely accurate account.

Author: Jennie

Law, libraries, books, crafts, and general geekery.

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