Picture a meeting at your company/institution/school. Meetings are for getting things done: Solve a problem - Create something new - Make a decision. But often, meetings turn into arguments, power-plays, endless debate or inauthentic "discussion" for the purpose of getting the meeting "over with".
If the ideas served in meetings were beach balls, it may seem as though people are trying to shoot the ball with a gun... whack it down so nobody can play... or grab it and run home so the ball is just for them.
Recently, however, I've been reminded it doesn't have to be that way.
Curating ideas and developing solutions (in meetings or otherwise) isn't about ball-combat, but rather, it's about playing a game of catch.
You have to let go of the ball (idea) in order to throw it. You have to concentrate on the ball (idea) in order to catch it. Each toss to and fro is about:
- Knowing where you are
- Knowing where your playing partners are
- Understanding their position
- Throwing the ball back with the genuine intention of a reciprocal catch
It takes being open, fluid, mobile and participative. And yes, as trite as it might sound, it also takes chilling-out and having a little fun for cry'n out loud.
I continue to play serendipitous "intell-i-catch" with Ralph Solonitz. We haven't planned a thing. We don't even talk except for an occasional email. He thinks with images and art. I think with words. It's been a blast, and I owe it to him for starting the game.
This week I tossed out a ball regarding social media and etiquette. Ralph once again caught the ball and tossed it back. Heck, I didn't even realize that I wasn't talking about social media and etiquette.
...Now the ball's in my court. Or is it?
craig arthur james 2011