Susan Bird poses an interesting question: How do you balance concrete takeaways with more transformational thinking, all in one meeting? I don't know if you can ever have too much of the nuts-and-bolts takeaways, but inspiring change is also important to many types of meetings. I left a couple of suggestions in the comments to her post, and would love to hear any other ideas you might have.
But, now that I think about it a little more, I'm not sure there's much of a difference between the two. A small, concrete takeaway can cause a small change, which can lead to a new way of thinking about something, which can snowball into something truly transformational, whether on a personal or an organizational level. The content of a meeting ideally should be crafted for just this type of process—in very few instances do real change come about solely as a result of the meeting itself. It's more a process of taking what you learn, trying it out, tweaking it to fit your specific needs, and then looking to see what else might come out of it. I guess my point would be to try to create a situation that would make it easy for people to get the process started: Case studies would work well, I think. Show how people take one idea and run with it, sometimes creating something very cool as a result. This would be especially cool if people used the same idea or tool or whatever in very different ways, or different situations.
I know, it's not easy. But wouldn't you love to be at a meeting where every takeaway was not only practical and applicable, but also inspired you to think differently about what you do and how you do it by showing you how others have made the whatever-it-is their own?