I’ll bet that you spend way too much time in meetings. You might have noticed something that I’ve noticed over the past several months.
It’s not a huge thing, but it’s made me wonder why it happens. I’ve been seeing that the last five minutes of a meeting are almost always the most productive. This is especially true when I start talking about strategic projects we might want to work on.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether the meeting is thirty minutes, an hour or even more. The conversation that we have always seems to end with a great idea and it always happens in the last five minutes.
I’d bet that you spend way too much time in meetings. You might have noticed something that I’ve noticed over the past several months.
It’s not a huge thing, but it’s made me wonder why it happens. I’ve been seeing that the last five minutes of a meeting are always the most productive. This is especially true when I start talking about strategic projects that we might wanna work on.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether the meeting is 30 minutes, an hour, or even more. The conversation that we have always seems to end with a great idea and it seems to always happen in the last five minutes.
So let me give you an example. I was meet, recently at a meeting with a client, and the meeting was scheduled for 60 minutes. We talked about a whole bunch of stuff, most of them tactical things that they were doing in their business. And then about 10 minutes before the meeting ended, I had this thought. I had this thought that we could use an example from a different industry, and apply it to their business. And the different industry was HubSpot, and the certifications they do. I don’t know if you know anything about HubSpot, but it’s a platform that has become huge, and it’s just a really good way to run your online business, or the online part of your business. In fact, I’ve been a HubSpot customer for, I don’t know, eight, nine, 10 years, something along that nature.
So I was asking them, how could we take that certification program that HubSpot does, and apply it to their business? And the whole purpose behind this conversation was how can we make their customers more sticky to what they did so they wouldn’t even think about going to another place and how could we put their company in the center of being the thought leaders in their industry? That’s where it came from. But this happened in the last five or 10 minutes of the meeting.
You know, I’m not sure how I could have made that idea come out faster. You know, the ideas just need to percolate, and it just takes time for this to happen. I know that you probably get frustrated yourself when it always seems to take too long for an idea to come to the top that’s useful. You know, we’re all pressed for time, and want things to happen faster than they do. I think this is just part of the process of innovation. Ideas don’t often immediately come up that are any good. And it’s okay to flounder around ’til you get something that’s useful.
So if you wanna make sure you get ideas that are gonna be useful for you, here’s three things you should do.
- Number one, make sure you schedule at least 60 minutes when you’re working on meetings that focus on strategic activities.
- Number two, start with focusing on some tactical ideas first. They seem to be easier to flesh out and as you’re talking about the tactical ideas, they tend to come into being strategic ideas.
- And towards the end of the meeting, start to focus on the strategic, and let the best idea pop up, and then immediately, and I mean immediately, set a follow-up meeting to see how you can test the idea.
And once you get the idea, then it’s time to test, which is what I call the ‘fail fast, fail cheap’ part of the process. This is where you do small experiments to see if your idea makes sense. And if it does, keep going. If it doesn’t, stop and let it go, and there’s little harm that’s been done.
So if you start to understand that it takes time for great ideas to pop up, then you can stop being frustrated by ideas taking too long and knowing that at the end of the meeting, there’s a very good chance a usable idea will appear that you can start to experiment with right away. So I would love to have a conversation with you about this. So feel free contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set up a time for us to talk.
In the meantime, if you’re not ready to talk, DOWNLOAD our Free infographic on our Stage 2 Innovation Process. It’ll tell you how we go through what we do to become innovative as a system.
So while you’re at it, please scroll down and let me know what you think about the innovation process and why it seems to take so long in meetings for good ideas to surface.
Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You’re at The Sustainable Business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.