As we prepared for our friend Brendan Sullivan’s workshop Why Didn’t We Think of That? Ideas for Generating a Culture of Innovation in Your Workplace on March 21st, I couldn’t help wonder what my own “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment was. One of my favorite websites is BuzzFeed. I love how they present topics relevant to varying demographics in a fun, engaging, and easily sharable manner. As a contributor to this (and other blogs) I couldn’t help think:  “Why didn’t I think of that?” So, in honor of Brendan’s workshop, I thought it’d be fun to take a “pearl of wisdom” he previously shared with us and BuzzFeedify it:


Have you ever led a meeting where the participants didn’t seem to be ‘there’ even though they were sitting right in front of you?

(“She’s Not There” by The Zombies)


They were distracted by other issues, projects, etc. that were preoccupying them, and distracting them from focusing on the matter at hand.

Next time, take a moment before the meeting begins and ask everyone to write down whatever that stuff is, on their own individual notepads. No need for them to share it.


Now that it’s on paper, they can stop thinking about it for the duration of the meeting.


After the meeting, they can read it and go back to whatever issue is pressing to them.


When you take a moment to do this, do it together and don’t single anyone out. Position it as a benefit to them. The meeting will be shorter and they will be more likely to fully participate.

(reading via email? watch the video here.)
–Brendan Sullivan.


Make sure to check out Why Didn’t We Think of That? Ideas for Generating a Culture of Innovation in Your Workplace this Thursday, March 21st!