The minutes (=written record, transcript or documentation) of a meeting is an example of “griting” — it is a record of a group’s discussions and decisions. In this blog series, griting is what we call a visible representation of what a group is thinking or had thought.
The group mind map described in the previous blog is mainly “grawing” (=group drawing) while the minutes of a meeting is largely “griting” (=group writing).
The common and traditional way of writing the minutes consists of:
- A secretary takes notes and/or audio recording during the meeting.
- After the meeting he drafts the minutes based on his notes and/or by listening to the audio recording.
- Before the next meeting, the minutes may or may not be reviewed and corrected by one or more meeting attendees.
- In the next meeting, the group reviews, agrees on final corrections and approves the minutes.
This common method is prone to many errors:
- Days or even months pass between meetings. If no audio recording was made, the minutes is based on error-prone recall.
- Reconstructing what was said and decided from an audio recording takes 2-3 times longer than the duration of the meeting.
- If no audio recording was made, meeting attendees may have different recall of what was said and will have to spend extra time to decide what should appear in the minutes.
- The speaker can change his mind since the previous meeting.
- In the end, the minutes is a poor record of what had actually been said.
In live griting of the minutes of a meeting, the above errors are reduced.
In courts, special stenographic skills and machinery are employed to produce real-time transcripts of court proceedings as verbatim as possible. The main aim of a certified verbatim reporter is 100% accuracy of reporting. However, in griting the main aim is to make visible to a group what they are thinking. Griting is a tool for thinking together.
Live griting the minutes of a meeting can be implemented as follows:
- A secretary, using a laptop attached to an LCD projector, records the minutes of a meeting while the meeting is going on.
- The meeting attendees see on the projector screen the minutes as it is being written a few seconds after a statement is made or a decision is reached.
- Any meeting attendee can immediately correct the record, if needed, and the secretary immediately implements the correction.
- As the group goes through its thinking processes, the minutes gets written; constant interaction of the group with the secretary assures that the minutes evolves in a manner that reflects the result of the discussion with accuracy acceptable to the group — this is the essence of “grawing-and-griting” or G&G.
By the time the meeting is done, the minutes of the meeting is also done!
Furthermore, technology has now advanced to the point where the tool for G&G can be placed and collaboratively worked on-line. For example, an on-line meeting can be conducted among attendees from different geographical locations where everyone is talking and thinking together via a conference VoIP call and synchronously co-writing/editing an online minutes of the meeting as the on-line meeting is going on!
An inexpensive combination is conference VoIP call via Skype, and on-line co-writing/editing of the minutes using Google docs — a G&G technology within reach of most everyone to enable a geographically-dispersed group of people to think together!
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Tags: certified verbatim reporter, court reporter, court stenographer, G&G, Google docs, grawing, grawing-and-griting, griting, group drawing, group writing, KM, KM tool, knowledge management, live griting, minutes, minutes of meeting, on-line griting, on-line minutes, Skype, VoIP