About Rob

Making the world a better meeting place

As a writer and speaker, Rob de Haas is an authority in the field of meeting design and business creativity. He has inspired and trained over 25,000 people worldwide in the areas of business creativity, leadership, and effective meetings. On top of that, he regularly chairs at events and leads board meetings.

Rob is the creator of a unique set of meeting cards: the ‘Meeting Design Cards'(©) – software for the collective brain. These cards enable anyone to design their own meeting. His mission: ‘Making the world a better meeting place.’

Rob has worked and still works with university students from all over the world. He speaks and trains at home and abroad. He has clients from both the profit and non-profit sector.

His latest book, ‘Praktijkgids online vergaderen. Anders verbinden, beter presteren’ (Boom uitgevers Amsterdam), was published in December 2020. In 2015, Rob wrote the book‘Ongewoon goed vergaderen. Slimmer. Korter. Inspirerender’ (Business Contact). Finally, this summer, his article ‘How to Prepare Great Meetings’ will be published in ‘The Science of Happiness’, a scientific publication of Sage Publishers India.

‘I am convinced that meetings can be more fun, more energetic, and more effective – whether online, hybrid or live. That is why I dream…

I dream of a world in which meetings are the most exciting moments at work – whether hybrid, live or virtual, synchronous, or asynchronous: they always matter. They make us realise again and again that we belong, because we see the others and they see us. At special moments like these, we realise that we really do matter. Great moments after which you can pick up where you left off, full of inspiration and energy, together with others or on your own.

I dream of a world where chairmen are skilful managers of the collective brain and of meetings that intellectually and emotionally challenge us and bring out the best in us, isn’t that what we all want?

How great would it be if we, as a rule, properly prepared our professional meetings and monitored their results? A professional meeting attitude with hard evaluations of what we invest in our meetings, based on hard and soft criteria: ROMI, Return On Meeting Investment. Inspirational moments within a professional context where, with the help of tech platforms, avatars and AI tools, practical matters are being discussed remotely, in an effective and climate-smart way.

A world in which we realise that only when we connect with each other, we can achieve great things as we keep an open mind to other people’s truths and perspectives, regardless of gender, generation, or sex. A world in which we consciously choose whether to participate or not, perhaps just partly, because we fully trust the qualities of the other person. And in this way have more time for ‘deep work’ (independent and mindful work).

A world in which we have experienced how crucial it is to prepare for important meetings – not only in terms of content, but also as a process: Meeting Design as a recognised leadership skill for executives. At last, good, professional meetings are no longer a coincidence. The healthy conflict has become widely accepted, we dare to look for and confront each other’s prejudices thanks to our professional autonomy, so tunnel vision, complacency and over-positivity cannot arise that quickly.

And how cool would it be if we could break various undermining habits, so that we would be left with much more time for independent work (think of limiting beliefs such as: the boss knows and decides, there is no need for preparation, forced harmony, fixed mindset)?

Let us all recognise meetings as the epicentre of our working world, as the beating heart of every organisation and company. Let’s work together to develop professional meetings that are energetic, inspiring, and climate-smart because they:

  • are inspired and meaningful
  • touch us
  • are well-balanced between online, hybrid and live
  • keep enriching our work
  • tap into the collective intelligence
  • permanently increase our innovative power
  • question my own prejudices and yours
  • prevent us from taking ourselves too seriously
  • challenge us intellectually through dialogue and debate’