Wanna stay smart? Don’t go to any more meetings

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An article from MSNBC online – “Meetings makes us dumber, study shows” cites:

People have a harder time coming up with alternative solutions to a problem when they are part of a group, new research suggests

Another interesting little tidbit as to why this might be so … and the one bit of info that hit me …

The researchers speculate that when a group of people receives information, the inclination is to discuss it. The more times one option is said aloud, the harder it is for individuals to recall other options, explained Krishnan, associate professor of marketing at Indiana University. (emphasis mine)

Wow! Do I ever live this at times. It seems that my work life is being eaten up with incessant meetings – where a lot of stuff is said but precious little is actually discussed or resolved (and I’ve pretty much given up on anything creative coming out of these things).

And creativity is something that should be – must be – prized and nurtured in this work. Not a creativity equivalent to flights of fancy, but creativity that looks at situations with a fresh approach … innovative …

Two days ago I was asked to look at a design to come up with ideas to “make it more fun.” The client had been using the same design approach to this compliance training program for a few years, and they felt that it was getting pretty stale. Needed to inject some interest – some ‘fun’ – into it.

Thankfully I was asked to work on this by myself … my lonesome … where I could get up from my desk and walk around outside, mumbling to myself … toying with ideas … saying them outloud without having to worry about “gaining consensus” … and it turned out well and was resolved faster than if this was an agenda topic in some let’s-all-put-our-heads-together-brainstorm-session/meeting.

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About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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