This is a gridcard. It’s made from 160 gsm (gram per square meter) paper and is A6 (105mm x 148mm) in size.
It’s just a piece of paper for people to write things on, but this simple device has eight ways to help you have better meetings. Used well, gridcards will:
1. Democratise Power does odd things in meetings. Sometimes people don’t say what they think, sometimes people don’t speak at all. By asking everyone to write their view on a gridcard at the same time, they democratise meetings and allow every voice to be heard.
2. Save Time Some people are long winded. They take a long time to make a simple point (or no point at all). Even verbose people only take about 60 seconds to write down their view on an important question with a fat pen (which only allows about 30 words). Gricards cut waffle and save time.
3. Diversify Decision theory shows that good decisions have been informed by a wide range of opinions and perspectives. Sometimes the minority view or lone voice might be the best insight. Gridcards enable simultaneous diverse thinking, and enrich collective thinking.
4. Unify & Focus It can be hard, especially in larger meetings, to focus everyones attention on the same thing at the same time, Gridcards, and their wall based home, a wallchart, help unify participants energy and attention, to think-together, on the same thing at the same time.
5. Record Gridcards effortlessly create a record of every idea, decision and plan. Properly stacked and scanned, they create a clear record of the work done. Like these 17 stacks of cards from a meeting of 25 leaders of the hydrogen fuel cell sector.
6. Increase Energy Someone droning on saps energy from meetings. Gridcards enable a more staccato rhythm, of individual reflection, collective sharing, and group meaning making. In workshops, where people can get up and post gridcards on walls, physical movement also helps increase energy.
7. Connect Without lengthy discussion, it’s hard to connect the 3 most important ideas in 20 peoples heads. Gridcards quickly allow the most important ideas to sit side by side and connect thinking, both from the subject being explored in the present moment, and from earlier in the meeting.
8. Show Progress As a meeting or workshop progresses, and a wall fills with ideas, suggestions, insights, plans, decisions, actions and learning, groups report feeling a sense of satisfaction that their work together has created visible progress on the matter at hand.