Browsing Tag


Brainstorming: The rules of the game

Everything is a process, just most of us don’t think of it that way. Creativity and innovation can follow a process as well. This presentation on brainstorming is a good primer on how to engage, what should be the ground rules and the process for closure and follow up.  In my group of friends after a bunch of brainstorming, we all send out an email that says: Here are the things which still sound good in the morning, if we all have one of the same listed, we pursue it. Not very formal, but a process, so check this one out:

The Greening Has Begun and you haven’t even noticed

So I don’t often get any emails, but I have that feature turned on for my feedburner feed so I get do get some, but i’d rather have comments – turned it off – snap. My 10 Tips for dealing with the fact that you will never leave your job post has received 3 emails and NOT from 3 people I know, so I thought I would follow up on it. Each of them referenced the “Greening Your Own Grass” concept – weird I thought, because sometimes I’m just cheese, which was the intent. So like any good opportunist, I googled the term and it appears there’s no obvious content around this, so what the heck. It even has got a kitschy pop psychology ring to it.

I went out looking online for ideas, since I haven’t thought the concept much more than cheesy bullet I created. So I decided to extend the concept to support the hiring requirements of democracy, an online entity of some sort in the marketing sector, but I changed them a little, to fit the context of greening.

  1. “The ability to unlearn.” – After you are in a business for a while take the opportunity to engage new kids on the block and get their input. A refreshing view is always a good thing, plus you might find something simple which could add significant value.
  2. “The desire to add value.” – In principle this is the enjoy what you do concept with a little Locke thrown in. Don’t become a pass-thru entity. Routing work “packets” isn’t a job, it’s a network appliance . A router is cheap, replaceable and boring.
  3. “The imagination of a child.” Creativity is the first thing to go after being in a role for a while. Wake up and be excited about trying new ways of doing your job. Take 10 minutes a day researching on what you do and find out what others like you have done – repackaging is still creative, if not fully original.
  4. “A global perspective.” – This is one of those onion concepts – first layer is understand the big picture, identify your ability to impact the big picture and to deliver. The other is more literally – understand your connection to supporting the changing market place, which is going global.
  5. Soul. While the democracy list takes a jab at James Blunt, it’s about identifying how you can find your corporate flow. Perfect balance of challenge and capabilities.

So as I think about Greening YOUR Own grass, is about finding your corporate flow. Flow is basic chart, which most marketing and tech folks should be able to interpret. I first discovered the construct of Flow in a Leisure Lifestyle course during undergrad, these diagrams come from a person who synthesized some chap named Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presentation in Sydney on 17 March 1999…

So this Flow thing just might work to start the greening. So keep a hiring attitude and a desire to find your flow in the workplace. There’s $.02 on something I never thought I would post on, my Leisure class.

Meeting Maxims

So I have this quote in my relevant quotes slideshows:

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.” – Dave Barry

So I got to thinking – what makes a meeting productive? so i have the four maxims on having effective meetings. Very often meetings end up being general discussions, rather than action oriented or goal driven. To avoid that, just try and not be part of the problem, we can’t impact other peoples’ meeting modes, only our own.  So I thought I would put some meeting maxims together.  Let’s just synchronize on maxim:

max·im [mak-sim] –noun
1.  an expression of a general truth or principle, esp. an aphoristic or sententious one: the maxims of La Rochefoucauld.  2.  a principle or rule of conduct.

So here are my  4 meeting maxims:

Manage the meeting: the management of the meeting starts at the invite. Identify attendees that can drive to closure the purpose of a meeting or those that need briefing. During the meeting address the agenda and begin the meeting on time and frame expectations, the situation and the goal of the next N# of minutes.  Provide background material and context in the invite.

A Single Item: Have meetings with a single purpose.  An Update meeting, literally only updating on activities. Have a session on a single decision, not the follow on concepts or tactics. Often meeting drift into next steps, additional topic extensions and general scope creep.  A single topic scenario:

Should we Pursue Project X?

The decision/purpose of the meeting is the pursuit of the project, not the tactics or plan. Don’t meeting creep into what to do on project X, keep it to what you should pursue –  why, who and how is a different meeting.

Stay Topical: Meetings are not a social event, while I know it may make the meeting more interesting, but the water cooler, cube chatter and general hallway drive-by’s should be used for catch up and trivia. If you stay focused, you may get done ahead of time and be able to get back to the business and avoid a time killing event

Have the [tag]Meeting[/tag]:  Bring your opinions, facts and willingness to engage and contribution to the discussion.  Very often meetings, don’t really happen.  I mean everyone shows up, or you start late or you go off topic and ultimately you need another meeting, on the same topic.   Have the meeting also means, don’t have a meeting after the meeting about how much the previous meeting didn’t meet expectations or express exceptions not voiced during the meeting.  Best to just have the meeting once.

So this is how I look at driving productivity from a meeting, just an idea.