Spur-of-the-Moment Nonsense

By: Jan Bolick
March 31, 2010

foolIt just hit me that everything on the list of ways to put nonsense to work is a bunch of planned nonsense.  Nothing wrong with that.   It’s a nice “ounce of prevention” for the things that cause dips in morale and productivity.   And like dates with your spouse and times to exercise…if you don’t plan them, they won’t happen.

BUT – unplanned nonsense is important  and powerful too.

At a day long planning retreat, things got a bit tense.  We were trying to solve a systems problem.  There was lots of blame being cast around.  Some of it silent.  The worst kind.

We kept at it for a while.  But then it became clear.  Collaborative efforts had collapsed.  Nerves were tense.  Creative win-win solutions were  hidden.  There was no food left in the room.  We were in trouble.

If we stopped the meeting with a plan to re-convene, everyone would go back to their silos, build their own cases and deepen the divide.

So we did the only other alternative that came to mind at the time.

We crammed into three cars and I asked the other two drivers to follow me.

We ended up at the bowling alley.

After two hours of throwing those balls down the alley and whatever was in those cups down our throats, things seemed much different.  Potential solutions to our problem started coming out.   Most of them had been mentioned earlier in the day.  But now people liked them!

Amazing what that little bit of nonsense did for morale.  For productivity.  For perspective.  For collaborative efforts.

We were able to settle on a solution later that day- spurred on by a bit of spur-of-the-moment nonsense.

Let’s make that #12 on our list of wise ways to put nonsense to work.

#12 – Remember spur-of-the-moment nonsense.

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2 Responses to “Spur-of-the-Moment Nonsense”

  1. 10 May-Only Ways to Boost Morale & Productivity | Business Class Inc on May 4th, 2010 2:39 pm

    […] Spur-of-the-Moment Nonsense […]

  2. Movie of the Week: The Replacements | Business Class Inc on July 13th, 2010 4:08 pm

    […] As for the second movie clip…showing it and then saying, “OK – let’s do the macarena!”, is not the way to go.   Instead use it as a reminder to yourself or to a group of managers about the power of humor.  And the power an individual can have over the mood of a group.   And then – let the fun bubble up.  For more on this, see Spur-of-the-Moment Nonsense. […]

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