Leading, Not Managing March 19, 2013

Innovative techniques can make all meetings valuable, says Forbes

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Working backwards, stealing ideas and role playing are all hailed innovative ways to liven up a brainstorming session.

A new report cited in managementtoday.co.uk claims that the average British worker wastes the equivalent of one year of their life in 'useless' meetings. The average respondent said that meetings accounted for 16 hours of their working week but a quarter of this time was pointless. Extrapolated, this totals some 9,000 hours per career, or a year and ten days.

Fortunately, forbes.com has come up with some great ways in which to make the next family business meeting one that all participants find valuable.

They include thinking upside down and working backwards from a problem in order to seek the best way forward. This might include considering the 'Don'ts' rather than the 'Dos' and establishing the worse course of action, so that it can be avoided.

To alleviate monotony, its suggested that role playing might be a way to get to the root of a problem in a unique way. Acting out a situation can prove surprisingly insightful. 

While the concept of 'stealing an idea' might sound a little risky, borrowing is perfectly fine, the website says, for brainstorming purposes. Taking an idea and considering how it might be done differently might even lead to a 'Eureka' moment.

Another idea to mitigate creative stagnation and meeting boredom is to pose a question to all delegates, ask them to write down their solution, then pass to a colleague for additional improvements. This will allow peers to 'see each other's thoughts more clearly and critically', noted the news provider.

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