Last night one of our student entrepreneurship teams met with a self selected group of mentors (myself included). This group’s mission is to help this student business prove their concept in order to attract investments. It was a wonderful meeting and everyone there was donating their time to be there – NO EQUITY NECESSARY!!! WOW!
The meeting last night went surprisingly well – better than most I have attended. We started at 5 p.m. and went until 9 p.m. without breaks! On the drive home, I realized WHY the meeting went so well. Somehow, this group intuitively knew that as we started to develop and frame ideas – the credit of WHO came up with the idea or suggestion was tracked continually. Here are some examples to demonstrate this:
“Yes, I think that may work, but if we add Ed’s idea of a touch screen, I think then we’d really have something!”
“I’d like to actually go back a bit and talk about Ana’s point on the technology interface…”
“Well, I also remember Howard’s valid concern about the IP issue. I think if we take that into consideration when we are developing…”
“I agree with that completely, I think Colleen’s suggestion of creating levels of service is absolutely necessary…”
Ed’s idea… Ana’s point… Howard’s valid concern… Colleen’s suggestion…
Through the night, the tracking system of WHO said WHAT was continuous. Everyone felt like they were being listened to and credited with their contribution. What was the result? Everyone wanted to contribute and in return, credit other contributions!
I was chatting about this phenomenon with one of my corporate veteran friends and he said that in large meetings, they always tried to make that a practice – but it was a FORCED practice, so it didn’t work that well.
I think the reason ours worked so well last night, is it developed organically – rather than being superficially imposed upon the group. And it all started with one person crediting someone one else. Go ahead, you know you want to…