Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Talking Stick

Ever been in one of those meetings that just can’t seem to stay on topic, and where everyone wants to get their opinion heard?

When I was in boy scouts we used a simple technique to solve this problem. It’s bullet-proof and you can start using it in your next meeting. It’s called the talking stick.

We’re really excited about using this at Digitribal, because it works in line with one of our core commitments to “seek to understand before we seek to be understood”. It helps our team to remain extraordinary.

The rules -

  • The chair of the meeting sets out these rules at the beginning of each meeting. The chair also starts the conversation and closes the conversation when the stick is finally passed back at the end.
    • The end is known when no one else has anything to say
  • Whomever holds the talking stick is speaking; all others are to listen
  • The talking stick is passed from member to member until all members have had their say (this can be done in random order so as to keep the group focused on the speaker as they may be next to speak)

Benefits -
  • Removes the need for a single purveyor of information (the appointed chair is not the sole focus of the meeting) this helps with members’ self worth
  • Helps with consensus-based decision making as all perspectives are heard
  • Those quieter personalities within the team have an opportunity to be heard
  • Those more active participants have the opportunity to listen
  • Builds a culture of respect and seeking to understand others

As a scout we used to use this tool when making decisions that would impact on the patrol. A good example of this was making the all important decisions of what would our patrol be called, what emblem we would take and most critically what food we would be taking on our campouts.

All these decisions help unify the patrol. So having a consensus based system for debate which allows for controlled discussion of the topic provided not only the patrol with a rewarding system of governance but the scout leaders a way of resolving dispute.

Have you had a team meeting using a similar technique?

I would love to hear about your experience when you comment on this post.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Great teams?"

Read this article here written by Jerry Useem on secrets of great teams. His relating it to the A-Team was humorous but also to the point. I agree with the points he makes.

On the other hand calling it "Secrets of Great Teams" I find a little over the top I dont think he is really revealing anything allot of people dont know.

But hey he is writing for CNN Money and I am posting to my personal blog :)

A bit about me

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been making some changes in my business life. And this has had me thinking carefully about what I am passionate about and what my experience has taught me about success.

So here are some of the major themes that have come up for me and a bit about why they stick in my mind.

Firstly I am a people person I have some great friends and many acquaintances. People and their personal and business stories are of a keen interest to me. I like to listen and to learn from others experiences. Whilst looking into this interest of mine I realized that I am a connector I bring people and businesses together.

Another area of my life which was reoccurring whilst looking into my previous experiences is that of teams. I enjoy working in teams, but not just any team extraordinary teams with passion, drive, and motivation. My experiences in scouting, sports, and business have led me to see certain truths about teams. And I will expand on this in a separate post.

The third thing that came up for me was communication. An area of my personal and business life that is not in balance. I see that although i am a relatively good broadcaster of ideas I am not as good a listener as I had thought. This realization has inspired me to work on this in my personal and business life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Live in Greatness (business protocols)

Have been pretty busy developing a new business. And have been lucky enough to be working with a great business partner in this venture. He has requested that we use the protocols available here ( to manage the team and the business.

After reviewing the website I have decided that I no only believe in the way the protocols work but the business world would be a better place if more organizations took these systems and built them into their business.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Social Strategy for Hospitality

As a marketer and a bar owner I have always been interested in the cross over between actual person to person social interaction and the digital world. Here are some links I have found to interesting reads.

How Hospitality Companies are Using Social Media for Real Results

Social Media & the Hospitality Industry

And this one is written by a guy who thinks in the same direction as I do, he believes that social media is more a PR tool, rather than a direct link to monetizing.

Josiah Mackenzie

Monday, July 11, 2011

100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media

I am currently reading allot about personal branding and how the web can be used to help promote a personal brand. Here is a blog I found whilst doing research that has some good tips. 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media