August – Meaningful Meetings
In our last post of the month on meaningful meetings, I wanted to cover the importance a culture of brainstorming has within organizations committed to MODERN MEETINGS. Brainstorming is the anti-meeting. Remember the Modern Meeting is focused around decisions and moving things forward. But in order to get to this place we need sessions (note not meetings) dedicated to the creation of possibilities. The goal of brainstorming is to break free from the fear that can restrict people’s creativity and provide a place where the imagination is allowed to roam free and generate a plethora of ideas from which innovation can be born.
Vital to effective brainstorming sessions is to make them fun and create moments that lack evaluation and criticism.
Your challenge this week is to schedule a brainstorming session around a problem your company is dealing with and generate some new, fresh ideas. Here are the ground rules:
- Invite people who are passionate about the idea. A passionate receptionist is better than a cynical executive.
- Praise Liberally. No criticism or evaluation. Under no circumstances do not let this turn into a regular meeting. The measured output of a brainstorming session is the breadth and quantity of ideas.
- Decide how many ideas you want to shoot for and let participants know that is the goal. Then number the ideas as you come up with them.
- Use a timer. You’ll be amazed at the great stuff that comes at the end as the timer is about to go off in order to meet the goal.
- Have fun!!! Most of us have forgotten how to have fun at work.
- Make it active. Stand up, have your meeting outside, encourage people to move around.
- Make sure the brainstorming session stays focused on the problem at hand. Clearly state the problem and make sure everyone stays on task.
- Assign a strong facilitator. Hire one if necessary. The cost is miniscule compared to the benefits.
- Don’t invite any executives that hold the session back. If this is new to your culture, you may need to keep the key leaders (and that may be you) out of the room so people feel safe.
- Write it all down. Assign someone responsible for chronicling everything from the session – even the silly stuff.
Once you have all the ideas from the brainstorm session, the person responsible for solving the problem being brainstormed about can review, discuss and ultimately decide on which one or ones to implement and then use the MODERN MEETING to move things forward. See how it all works beautifully together? Try it out and you will.
Review Previous Challenges from August:
To Your Success,
The Rector Group