Art: Charter

Conflict-resolution facilitator; author, The Art of Gathering book and digital course

Read the full list of Charter 30 honorees here, and learn more about Charter Pro here.

“Gathering well is a learnable skill,” Parker told us last year, and she’s among its most prolific teachers. When the Covid pandemic took hold two years after the publication of her book The Art of Gathering, Parker leveraged her expertise to focus on remote and hybrid gathering, including meetings—something that many organizations struggle to get right even now. As she noted at last year’s Charter Workplace Summit, the ability to approach hybrid meetings thoughtfully and strategically is inextricably tied to workplace inclusion, productivity, and trust: “The single best way to shift the culture of your organization overnight,” she argued, “is to make the question, ‘What’s the purpose of this meeting?’ not taboo.”

Right now, what is your biggest question or curiosity about the future of work?

I’m most curious about what our shared understanding becomes of what “work” is, where “work” happens, and what it means to be “part of an organization.” I think the companies that will land well will be the ones who crack the nut on how to create psychological togetherness without everyone being in the same place at the same time, and still feel part of something greater than completing a task.

What is one problem leaders should be focused on solving in the year ahead?

Making sure that every manager has the skills to host an excellent meeting where people feel their time is being used well, they’re contributing, and that they’re part of something greater than themselves. Leadership is helping the right group have the right conversation, one gathering at a time. And as where work happens changes, meetings and gatherings aren’t just about productivity; they also become your culture carriers. In virtual and hybrid workplaces, when people aren’t regularly coming into an office, their mental model of their organization is based on a series of small meetings on a computer. You better make those moments good.

Read more from Charter

The handbook for the future of work, delivered to your inbox.