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The authors suggest more empathy, better framing of purpose, creative agenda design, and test-driving.

By applying design thinking, a concept popularized by IDEO founder David Kelly and Stanford’s d.school, which was first applied to the design of physical objects, then other products, such as technological tools, and now to more complex challenges across a wide variety of industries. The idea is to put the “user” at the center of the experience — an approach that works with meeting design, too.

Start by putting your own expertise and agenda aside and thinking about the people who will be affected by your meeting. Develop empathy for them by asking three sets of questions:

Who is going to be in the room and what are their needs? Who won’t be in the room but will nevertheless be affected by the meeting and what are their needs? In what broader culture and environment are you operating and what are some of the overarching challenges and opportunities?

Read the rest of Maya Bernstein and Rae Ringel’s article at HBR