When we walk into a meeting, there’s a natural tendency for all attendees to immediately start firing off solutions for all the problems a company faces; “Increase marketing spend by 75 per cent next quarter”, “shift funding to better support our R&D department”, “change the messaging used in our campaign”; anything to get to where we want to be.
There’s a fundamental problem with this approach – everyone assumes that the problems they’re trying to tackle are actually the main problems their organisation is facing. This isn’t always the case.
The underlying issue might be something no one in the room is seeing, and a framework that helps participants identify this is needed.
Of course, when someone commits to spend their valuable time in a two-hour meeting, they naturally try to solve as many problems as possible. This approach can lead to chaotic outcomes at the end where so much has been said and yet very little of value is concluded.
Think tank sessions are tools that can not only help you identify the real problems you need to be tackling, but also help everyone in your organisation focus their efforts on the things that really matter.
By initiating participants’ thinking processes with organisational goals, rather than problems, we will help eliminate any preconceived notions that would normally cover up deeper-seated issues embedded within a company. A structured plan of customer centric discussion and ideation ensures that participants walk out of the session with a set of clear and actionable solutions for growth.
It bears mentioning that a single think tank session will not solve all your problems in one go, nor is it meant to. You’ll need to build a culture that shies away from disordered meetings and embraces focus and longer-term planning in order to steadily move towards an endpoint; these sessions need to happen on a regular basis and tackle a different problem each time.
This approach may encounter some resistance by some. Different departments assign priority to different problems and want their own to be solved before everyone else’s. But the long-term gains will be much greater when everyone is on board with this new way of working and thinking.
Contact Anchovy for consul- tation at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.anchovyinc.com.
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