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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Staff Meetings that Inspire

Staff Meetings that Inspire
Is your staff dreading the weekly staff meeting?  Perhaps the meetings have become predictable and non-motivating. Unless you have a “no phone” rule, the point at which the meeting has lost its audience is signified by an overwhelming amount of email checking and website surfing that happens just below the level of the conference tabletop.   Having experienced both roles as meeting leader and attendee, I have been guilty on both fronts [although I do believe that when the meeting leader checks his phone that everything is out the window].  Seems like there would be a learning moment to fix this situation then, wouldn’t there?   Enter Steward Sandstrom, current CEO of Springfield, IL Chamber of Commerce.  Having presented and endured my share of Youtube videos as part of meetings I have found them to be a mixed bag in quality and content.  Steward refreshingly makes a point of using TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Talks videos during his meetings.  [This is not intended to be a commercial for].   TED videos are consistently produced and edited in a high quality manner.  Further the index of “talks” is sortable not only by content, but also by level of seriousness, awesomeness and “inspirability”.  Steward mixes those up and is able to challenge the staff to view situations from different perspectives and motivates to think “how would our clients respond if…”.  Sometimes 3 minutes and sometimes 18 minutes, whatever attention was lost is quickly recovered when the TED video plays.  For the uninitiated, TED talk videos are frequently: “look at this magical technology we developed” , “look at this common situation in a new perspective” or “Oh the humanity! We need to address this situation now”.
While a meeting can be re-focused around a TED video, the magic actually happens after the meeting has concluded.  Outside of the meeting space comments, discussions and debates are triggered amongst office mates and in my case at the dinner table.  While meetings are held to achieve end results to inform and to decide, there is no reason that a few minutes cannot be invested to also inspire.  I recommend that you give this a try and see how your staff responds to the change in the agenda.
How to Start a Movement video from TED:

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