Organizational Development Consultant

Seven Techniques to Boost Creativity and Teamwork: #1 Thinking Outside the Box

March 22, 2014

My last twenty blogs described techniques for improving meeting productivity.  The next seven blogs will describe meeting facilitation techniques to boost creativity and teamwork.  They will include:

1. Thinking Outside the Box

2. New Glasses

3. Incrediballs

4. Team Learning

5. Two Truths and a Lie

6. Milestones

7. The Funeral

Today, we’ll start with Technique #1: Thinking Outside the Box.   Here we go!

What Is Thinking Outside the Box?

Thinking Outside the Box is a technique designed to help your participants see the value of thinking in new and different ways.

People think and problem solve Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #20 Small Groups

March 14, 2014

“Sometimes it seems impossible to hear from everyone in our meetings. The group is too large, the agenda is too long, or the time is too short. How can I be sure that everyone gets a chance to speak his or her mind?”

20. Small Groups

What Is Small Groups?

Small Groups is a productivity technique for gaining input from everyone in the meeting. This process involves breaking a large group into smaller, more manageable groups of participants.

Small Groups stimulate fuller participation, require less time, and tend to create higher energy and better results. They can be combined with Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #19 Writing

March 10, 2014

My last three blogs highlighted techniques to stimulate and maintain high energy.   The last two techniques in this section are designed to increase participation.  Today I’ll describe Technique #19: Writing.

“I know that meetings are designed for two-way communication, but sometimes a verbal discussion doesn’t seem like the best way to utilize the time of my meeting participants. This usually happens when the agenda is long, the group is large, only a few people participate, or the information requested is delicate or volatile. Is there an alternative to group discussions?”

19. Writing

What Is Writing?

As a productivity Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #18 Music

March 1, 2014

“Sometimes I think that the energy swings in my meetings are due to the lack of diversity in my facilitation. And this sameness becomes a source of tedium for my participants. What can I do to change the atmosphere and the pace or create a different mood in my meetings?”

18. Music

What Is Music?

Music is another technique designed to keep your meeting group’s energy high. Music can set the stage for increased creativity and productivity by a simple change of mood. Well planned, Music alters the ambience and tone of a meeting, thereby changing its pace and sparking Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #17 Toys

February 26, 2014

“After an hour or so I start to see the signs. People start to fidget, they seem uncomfortable, and they lose concentration. We take frequent Breaks and use Movement in our meetings as well, but I’d like to learn another alternative for getting active people to sit still enough to listen and participate for extended periods of time.”

17. Toys

What Is Toys?

The use of Toys is another technique designed to keep people focused and attentive for long periods of time.

“Sit still and pay attention!” Many of us learned this strict rule of behavior as children, but it Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #16 Movement

February 23, 2014

“What other techniques can I use to keep people alert and involved in our meetings?”

16. Movement

What Is Movement?

Movement is another technique designed to keep energy high and attention focused. Any purposeful Movement can reenergize your group while at the same time supporting your meeting objectives.

When to Use Movement

  •  When your meetings last more than a few hours
  •  When you want to encourage participants to talk with new people
  •  When you anticipate that the group’s energy level will deteriorate, such as after lunch
  •  When the group appears to be physically uncomfortable

How to Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #15 Breaks

February 18, 2014

My last three blogs described techniques to improve the clarity of communication.  My next three blogs will describe techniques to stimulate and maintain high energy.  Today I’ll describe Technique #15: Breaks.

“We seem to run out of steam long before our work has been completed. Do you have any ideas?”

15. BREAKS

What Are BREAKS?

BREAKS are designed to support high energy and focus throughout your meeting.

Meetings are notorious for pushing on too long. The energy level of the group decreases as the meeting progresses, and concentration and creativity suffer as a result. This problem is Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #14 Analogies and Metaphors

February 13, 2014

“Sometimes critical information isn’t understood in our meetings as clearly as I would like. Important points seem to get lost because they are either complicated, dull, or both. What alternatives do we have to get key points across?”

14. ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS

What Are ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS?

The ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS technique helps your meeting participants focus and crystalize their thinking and understanding of an issue. It can also be used to emphasize key points of a topic under discussion. This technique is especially applicable for information that is difficult to understand or explain in simple terms. ANALOGIES AND METAPHORS Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #13 Art

February 10, 2014

“My participants sometimes seem to get bogged down in their own logic. This inhibits their creativity and negatively impacts the energy of the group. I am looking for a way to get people to think more creatively so we can develop a deeper understanding of an issue. Is there a technique that will help us see things through different eyes?”

13. ART

What Is ART?

ART is a technique for helping your meeting participants think and express themselves differently.

When people articulate their thoughts in atypical ways, they tend to produce a broader spectrum of information. And sometimes the most Continue reading

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20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #12 Charting

February 3, 2014

My last several blogs have described techniques to define and control meeting behavior and keep your meetings on track.  My next three blogs will describe techniques to improve the clarity of communication.  Today I’ll describe Technique #12: Charting.

 “Even though I think my instructions are clear, participants frequently ask me to repeat what I say. Also, points that are made in the meeting are often repeated later on. This is frustrating and always seems to slow us down. Can you suggest a technique that will eliminate these problems?”

12. CHARTING

What Is CHARTING?

CHARTING is a Continue reading

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