Monthly Archives: July 2014

Do you wonder why so many meetings we go to are so frustrating?

Wcorporate-businessould any automobile company try to build a new car without an assembly line? Just dump the parts on the factory floor and say “go to it” to the workers? Of course not. We all know that the assembly line is a necessary part of building a car that actually works.

When you think of it, the assembly line is simply a process, one that people follow to synchronize their efforts with others. Unfortunately, many organizations try to do too many things without a process.

For example, they hold meetings. Meetings are scheduled so people can use their knowledge to accomplish pretty complicated things, including:
• solve problems,
• make decisions,
• create policy,
• manage projects,
• plan strategy, and
• innovate products and procedures.

But these meetings are held without a process. Members are unable to synchronize their thinking! Such meetings end up messy and frustrating, often without results. The individual members are trying hard, but all are thinking differently at the same time, getting in each other’s way. Here are the different thoughts people might be experiencing simultaneously:

• “What a waste of time. I could fix this in a minute.”
• “I’m not sure what we are doing. My boss told me to sit in at the last minute.”
• “We need to drill down to the root cause, no matter how long it takes.”
• “I am not budging until we define what problem we are trying to solve.”
• “We need to evaluate our options and pick the best.”
• “There are a ton of problems more important than this one.”
• “Glad I went to that creativity seminar last week .The wilder my ideas, the better!”
• “I am going to play devil’s advocate on everything I hear.”
• “I wonder how we are going to pay for all of this.”
• “I know exactly what steps to take right after the meeting.”

No wonder we have a mess. Everyone is all over the map. There is no process to follow. How could we possibly expect to achieve innovative results in meetings without synchronizing our thinking?
This week’s Minsight: How might we use a consistent thinking process to synchronize everyone’s inputs and efficiently tackle a problem? The better we follow the process, the better the result.

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Filed under Business, Change Making, human resources, innovation

Are You Only Getting it Half Right?

Min high res colourAre you in an organization in which the leaders understand problem-solving and implementing, but are a bit fuzzy about problem generation and conceptualization? It can be frustrating when you know that the secret of organizational effectiveness requires both efficiency AND adaptability – or in other words, all four of these capabilities. Simply put, many organizations favor efficiency at the expense of adaptability. They become blind to other possibilities.

This week’s Minsight: How might you seize this opportunity to distinguish yourself, differentiate yourself from others? How might you be seen as a leader, taking your organization into a more complete way of thinking? What is the first step that you might take?

Hint: Could you offer to facilitate the next meeting of a team having trouble? Or perhaps share the four problem solving styles at a brown bag lunch? (How did it go? Do you have other experiences to share?)

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Filed under Business, Change Making, innovation, leadership