Half baked

Make your meetings more effective

You may be interested in applying this analytical structure to your meetings.

In return for gaining enormous benefit from reading my comments, would you create a fancy title to describe this approach? If you do, I promise you an attribution which is likely to enhance your career.

It would be nice if it was a snappy acronym (sorry – for those who came through the English education system, an acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of other words, like radar or ANZAC.) For example: meetings are ludicrous (MAL). Or something snappy like: basic improvement of meeting behaviour and organisational effectiveness (BIMBOE).

That idea is half baked

You are in a team meeting and your boss asks for ideas to solve a problem. One person comes up with a suggestion.

Now, the team has only just been asked and have not thought it through, but one person bravely volunteers an idea. They probably cannot articulate how it would work practically, so they can’t provide much in the way of details. As a consequence, the team has difficulty in seeing how it would solve the problem they are discussing. Therefore, everyone makes it clear what they feel about this half-baked idea and also what they feel about the person who raised it.

But – aren’t most ideas half-baked the first time they see the light of day?

Message “Don’t come up with ideas that have not been properly thought through.”

Result Everyone is nervous about putting forward ideas. Not only because their idea will be criticised but also because they themselves will be attacked. As a consequence, creativity is devalued and idea generation shrivels. Action is confined to what we have tried before or what the boss wants. People’s development is stunted and the group fails to see or to grasp opportunities. Work becomes a less dynamic and fun occupation.

Suggestion Encourage suggestions, get ideas articulated, allow time for everyone to hear them. Then explore how they might work before determining what the shortcomings might be. A half-baked idea from one person can be developed into a possible avenue by another and then a certainty by a third – this is a key function of a team.

After all, what do you do with a potato that is half baked? Do you throw it away and fetch a new potato from the sack and start again? Or do you put the original potato back in the oven for a bit longer?

A further suggestion. Be aware of those who repeatedly interrupt or dismiss ideas. Stop them picking on weaknesses and stifling the creativity of others. Save criticism for idea evaluation.

4 thoughts on “Half baked”

  1. Mike,

    I’m really enjoying your website and reading your posts.

    In response to your 1/2 baked ideas post: In my Army time I often had to flesh out half-baked ideas into workable solutions. These came to be known as CORGI’s – Commanding Officer’s Really Good Ideas – a somewhat derogatory term for what were often madcap ideas. But once fleshed out by the staff through brainstorming and reality-checking, these became operational reality.

  2. Since you mentioned potatoes:

    Protect Original Thoughts Against Tactless Opprobrium

    Ideas Deserve A Hearing, Okay?

    (Not that we have Idaho potatoes where I live. My entire knowledge of them is derived from Toy Story.)

  3. Hi Mike
    My 2penneth.
    INCA – Idea Nurture Challenge Advertise
    IChange – Inspiration Challenge Nurture Grasp Evangelise

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