40Put a Well-Run Meeting System in Place:

Why a Large-Group/Small-Group Approach Often Works Best

People want to be included in decision making and have influence, which is a good sign. It shows they are engaged and feel a sense of ownership regarding the company’s success.

And, of course, leaders want employees to feel included. There are so many benefits of having a good cross-section of people involved. For example, more and different ideas and perspectives come from larger groups. It can also create more buy-in on actions taken.

The same is true in a community. It’s great when lots of citizens are very engaged and want to provide input into actions they feel will make the community better. Often, when I work with communities there are big groups of people working together on projects.

Yet even the best of things can have unintended consequences. As wonderful as it is having big groups of passionate people working together, there can also be challenges. For example, it is often very hard with a large group to get the scope of work to a doable point and to decide upon and prioritize actions. As a result, very little gets accomplished.

So is the answer always smaller groups? Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, famously talked about his two-pizza rule. By this he meant that if two pizzas can’t feed the team, then the team is too big to be effective. Over the years, I have heard many suggestions on the optimal size of a group, team, and/or board. The size usually suggested ...

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