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From crayons to water guns: Liven up boring meetings

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

In the downturn, productivity is everything. Small business owners are turning to creative solutions for making conference-room time productive.

• Brainstorm using crayons and construction paper. Heather Logrippo, publisher of Distinctive Homes, asked employees to find a quiet place for 30 minutes and generate colorful suggestions. “They came out with great ideas.”

• Spray naysayers. Employees at Dixon Schwabl Advertising use water guns to spray colleagues who make negative remarks at meetings.

• Allow for anonymity.
During meetings at content management firm Box.net Inc., Jen Grant gives workers seven minutes to anonymously jot down as many thoughts as possible on Post-it notes. When time is up, the suggestions go on a wall for the employees to read and rearrange. “I tell them to not think about whether the idea is dumb or too costly, which allows them to think as big as they can,” Grant says.

— Adapted from “Boring Meetings? Get Out the Water Guns,” Emily Maltby, The Wall Street Journal.

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