How To Make Meetings Less Boring, Super-Soakers Included

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Most of your meetings for work are probably obscenely painful experiences, particularly for those of you who detest your colleagues and especially for the lucky few who've been banned from fucking around on your Blackberry while people are talking. All that's left to do is zone out, or sigh audibly while presentations are being made, and if everyone is taking a page from your playabook, not a lot is getting done. So! A few companies have come up with some ways for making these sessions more productive, and less wastes of your time. Some of them suck, like have people write down ideas on Post-its and then announcing them anonymously so no one is scared to come up with what might be perceived as a dumb suggestion, or asking employees to take crayons and draw their contributions, and then getting pissed when a go-getter comes back with illustrations of the boss and some barnyard animals. Others, while due for some tweaking, aren't half bad:

Dixon Schwabl Advertising Inc., in Rochester, N.Y., tries to lower the inhibitions of its 82 employees by arming them with water guns, which workers are instructed to bring to all meetings. Anyone who passes a negative comment at the meeting is bound to get wet.


An (essential) outlaw on negative comments seems somewhat counterproductive (sometimes people need to be told they're stupid, okay?), but introducing water guns in the conference room? What's not love? But we need to think bigger. For instance, dunk tanks. That would a fun little element, wouldn't it? Like, whoever comes up with the best idea for the meeting gets to select whichever colleague he wants to see up there, and everyone gets to take a hit, or, whoever had the best idea that day gets to have everyone line up and take a shot at sinking them all. Whatever, details have yet to be hammered out. And obviously we need more. A certain leader in the hedge fund industry recently introduced tasers at morning meetings, and I can't say we don't like that. Also: charades ("Five words. First word, salutation." "Sir"? "No." "Mr"? "No." "Miss"? "Yes." "Fifth word, noun, plural." "Balls"? "No." "Trades"? "No." "Models"? "No." "Stilettos"? "Yes!" "Miss, where are your stilettos"? "Yes!!!"). And cattle prods. You've got to have cattle prods. What else?
Boring Meetings? Get Out The Water Guns [WSJ via Heidi Moore]

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