“I don’t understand,” Susan complained. “My team just isn’t very creative, they never contribute ideas.”
“How so?” I asked.
“We have a problem meeting our output goals, some days we fall a little short, some days we fall short by a lot,” she started. “I called a meeting to get some ideas on how we could speed things up. To kickstart the meeting, I distributed a list of my ideas and then asked for ideas from the team.”
“And, I got no response, zero, nothing. The team just sat there, avoiding eye contact, looking at the ceiling, doodling on my list. Someone said they liked my ideas. After two minutes I adjourned the meeting. The team was worthless.”
“Then what happened?”
“That’s the worst part. One of my ideas was to start on time, but when I called out half the team for being late to start, all I got was grumbling. That day, we had the worst level of productivity of the week.”
“So, if you had the meeting to do over again, what would you do differently?” I prompted.
Susan just shook her head. “I would have cancelled the meeting before it started,” she snapped.
“But, if you DID have the meeting, what would you do differently to get a different outcome?”