It Works: Stories From The Book

Why do we expect and accept that meetings will be dull?

A client once told me, ‘That’s just the way it is. It’s the nature of our business. Our stuff is dull’. So I challenged him to think of ways to make them more fun and enjoyable. He introduced yellow cards and red cards to his meetings (he’s a big soccer fan).

Each team member was given a set of coloured cards and they could fl ash them at any time. A yellow card signaled, ‘We have spent enough time on this, let’s move on’, while a red card meant, ‘Out of order’. In the past, most people would sigh, have side conversations, or check their email when things weren’t moving along.

But the cards empowered them to let everyone know the meeting was veering off course without seeming rude or confrontational. By about the fourth meeting after implementing the card system, they had got over all the card flashing and laughter of the initial few meetings, and settled into a routine. But the jovial nature of the meetings remained and the constant threat of being ‘carded’, plus the shortened time frame, made for fun, engaged, productive and purposeful meetings.

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It Works!

I was asked to facilitate a strategic planning session for a national organisation. When I saw the invitation list, which had 23 people on it, I questioned the leader. My questions were about who they... More
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