Creative Leadership

The Meeting After-The-Meeting

How often to you have an after-the-meeting meeting to decide how to undo what was decided at the meeting? You know what I’m talking about. For instance, getting a core group of people that think like you to try and shift the ridiculous decisions that happened at the big staff meeting. It happens because too many organizations have areas that “just aren’t discussed.”  What “undiscussable” subjects haunt the meetings at your organization?

What are the issues that no one has the courage to bring up?

What are the elephants in the room that everyone refuses to point out?  Large, influential organizations are crippled by limited thinking, and the refusal to broach certain issues.  Sometimes it’s the fear of losing power, sometimes it’s insecurity, sometimes it’s ego, and sometimes it’s the concern of losing a job.  But whatever it is, the organization, it’s mission, and you suffer.

Think about it.  Have courage.  Push the button.  Point out the elephant.  Start the conversation that pulls back the curtain and exposes the real problem.  Because until that happens, nothing will ever change.

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  1. Hi Phil,

    I’m commenting under a pseudonym here, just in case.

    There are often elephants (some of them white) in many of the large meetings I have attended within the organisation I work. This is because those in charge are only as good as their information and they often don’t get it until I give it to them, which I do, at every opportunity. Thankfully I’m in a position where I’m at least listened to although my advice isn’t always taken. If its not, then I simply shrug and pragmatically tell myself that I can now absolve myself of responsibility for the consequences…

  2. Churches are especially prone to this.  Admittedly, an organization that’s supposed to be about people has to care about those people’s feelings.  But that habit is unhealthy in a leadership meeting.  Sure, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but sometimes, the harsh truths have to be said if all options are to be considered.  And someone is going to be a casualty.  But, that stupid elephant has got to go!

  3. I was in that “BIG MEETING” this morning.

    New guy brought in, shiny brief case, from out of town.

    He had JUST THE IDEA that would save the place.  Nine nodding heads bobbed up and down in unison.  He smiled, shook our hands and headed to his airplane.

    Took an hour for the plan to be determined to be a train wreck.  Why:

    1) Leadership always listens to the new guy.  Whoever it is.  No one wanted to shame him because of stuff he could not know.  But his plan was based on assumptions that were not true.

    2) Leadership can not look at bad news.  So any new thing or plan is better than thinking about or consider why that last 12 didn’t work.  That would be painful.  That might also reflect on..leadership’s own decisions.

    3) Leadership doesn’t play fair.  Shoot the guy that disagrees.  Make them feel silly in front of their peers.

    So we all grabbed another cup of joe, delighted each other with IMs across the room, and waited until he had gone.  We don’t have another plan, mind you, no one is asking “the little people” for that.

    So the organization is a day later and oh, so many dollars.

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