Friday, July 18, 2014

not by the book

How would you cope with entering an idea brainstorming meeting and the very first words the organizer says are along these lines "Welcome, here is an idea I had this morning, please help me refine it"?

Today I've wanted to make people approach something ordinary (be in a meeting) into an out of the ordinary way (not be aware of any meeting process or outcomes).

So I entered the room. And I said something along these lines "Welcome, here is an idea I had this morning, please help me refine it".

So they were all ears, then timidly contributed to the idea, but there was something missing in the air. Then one person did the unimaginable: my meeting co-organizer broke a deal I had made with him hours before the meeting: that there would be no slides.

He professionally waited until the conversation paused a little. Then there they were:


The slides I've tried to part with. I could, but he could not. Or maybe they could not.

I imagine he could not stand the situation anymore. Or he noticed that others could not stand the situation anymore, and he wanted to avoid a failed meeting. Because they needed


They attentively watched the 4 slides unrolling before their eyes, and then all was fine. The sky was clear again. Ideas started flowing, 6 in one hour. Astonishing. 3 people left the room to attend other duties or answer the phone and came back. One KPI checked. It was a "really good, 4/5 meeting" said one of the participants afterwards.

But in the thin air _they_ were still there. Waiting to bite us again. 

What do we do with these ideas?
Who is taking this further?
When can we expect results?
This was a closed-door meeting, how will we let the others know about such next meetings?

They needed


But there is a line. Cause we only need just enough rules to allow us to have no rules.

Cause we don't need a formal email to let the others know what we did today. They will hear it from the participants if they left the meeting excited.

Plus I and my co-organizer will repeat the same meeting with another group, possibly half of today's participants and half first-comers. Why half of the ones from today's meeting? Simple, because they already know


1 comment:

Adrian Voica said...

Nailed it. Nice approach. You don't feel the grass until you're bare feet. But people are used to wearing shoes, it takes time to get used to the tickling grass. Hold on to this approach/mindset, it might be a game changer.