Meeting of the Minds


The mere mention of a meeting can send people scrambling for the solace of a long email chain. But meetings don’t have to be catalysts for eye rolls or iPhone games. Creativity is key.

Within the EPA Innovation Team, we occasionally have walking meetings. I’m a big fan. Coffee meetings? Not as much.

Despite meetings being productive for collaborative purposes, “they can become the default response to uncertainty,” writes Brian Bailey, founder of the social network Uncommon. His idea is to make people pay for meetings.

That won’t fly in the government, but you can shake up your workplace gatherings.

Sometimes meetings need a specific, unique element to spice up the routine:

  • Post Growth Institute, an international virtual group working for global prosperity, holds monthly meetings via video conference. In total silence. Everyone types their interactions.

Sometimes, the originality comes with the implementation:

Cuban’s philosophy means that people shouldn’t hold a meeting unless absolutely necessary. Inevitably, though, in government we all need to meet with our groups for check-ins and decisions. Simplicity is success: Spend the first two minutes outlining what you’ll cover to give people their bearings, then do it.

Dustin Renwick works in conjunction with the Innovation Team in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development. The opinions expressed here are the author’s and do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

Dustin Renwick is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Corinne Stubbs

What a fun post! By breaking up office meetings with a quirky activity, members can get back to task and fulfill meeting objectives. People lose focus and drift off when they have the same routine again and again. I love GovLoop’s show-and-tell time and learn something new every week!