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Trying to be productive makes for counter-productive meetings?

That's what Johnnie Moore says in this post:

    Often, I think the efforts to make meetings productive are actually the cause of the problem. To exclude the risk of failure, a number of boxes get ticked, and action points appear to be agreed. A pleasingly large collection of post-it notes and flip charts are produced. And then not much happens. That's because people are only half-heartedly agreeing to all these actions in order to pass the test of making the meeting productive.

He makes some great points, the most important being that when we focus too much on the results, the process—the conversation—becomes a byproduct. But it's the rambling, sometimes off-topic-veering conversations that so often end up with those Eureka! moments. Which makes sense to me. Since we only actually use part of our brains (I think it's somewhere around 10 percent, or is that an urban legend?) for conscious thought, there's a lot of brain working behind the scenes. If you give it some space to roam via reflection time and free-form conversation, well, that's when the best ideas usually pop out. There actually was a study published recently that indicated people were more satisfied with decisions, especially more complex decisions, that were made while the conscious mind was occupied doing something else.

Interesting, eh?

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