Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Blank Piece of Paper

While participating as an online observer to the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference I had the chance to participate in some live chats with others who were remotely viewing the sessions.  Much like being in-person at an event, I found the most valuable nugget or idea did not come from a presentation, but instead from another attendee (it is always the "Hallway Conversations" that bring the best information!).

Meredith Low, a meeting professional from Toronto (and my new virtual friend), added her thoughts in the online "Group Chat" during an afternoon session.  She was building on something said by the speaker, and her words carried a punch that out-shined the great information that was coming from the event's planned agenda.

She talked of an exercise she does with her clients where she asks them "If this meeting you are planning did not exist, and you were to start fresh to design a way to bring your community together, what would you do?".  In other words, take out a blank piece of paper and let's create an ideal situation to achieve your purpose... what existed before does not matter.

This is a GREAT idea for anyone regardless of their products or services.  All industries can benefit from Meredith's idea of looking at your world with a fresh perspective.

I spent the rest of the day reviewing at my speaking business.  As something becomes established, like a career, you can easily get caught up in "what is" and not "what could be" (or "what should be").  It is easy to look at concepts and processes that have worked in the past hand hold onto them for dear life.

This process of thinking about my company from a blank sheet of paper spawned several interesting thoughts and new ideas.  It also made me examine some of my habits that may or may not be in my long-term best interest.  I am still sketching out what I would be creating if I was starting today (and if money was no object).  Much of what I am doing is right.  Some of it was right at the time I began bootstrapping the business, but not as much now that I am established.

I discovered some areas that could use immediate adjusting, and a few that can be tweaked over time.  I still do not have the luxury of unlimited funds, so a few ideas I have cannot be implemented because there are the financial realities that everyone faces (except, apparently, the U.S. Government).  However, this exercise gave me the chance to dream and to explore.  That is what all entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs (you need not work for yourself to be a creator of something exciting) need to do more often.  It is easy to get caught up in the minutia of our day-to-day routines.  The "Blank Sheet of Paper Exercise" is something we should all do regularly.

Thanks Meredith!

Have A Great Day

thom singer

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