To fight against the spread of COVID-19, Hong Kong has implemented the Social Distancing Measures. Restaurants are the first batch to be greatly affected. Even though it would be difficult, restaurants are still doing their jobs. It’s such toughness like the Lion Rock Mountain spirit that maintains every one of us to keep going.

Frankly speaking, brainstorm meetings should also be restricted by social distancing measures. Especially for those in the marketing agency. Whenever there are brainstorm meetings, they will always involve the participation of different departments. These include customer service, creative, technical, and maybe more teams. The meeting size may range from the least of seven people to as many as ten people. It could run for one to three hours. The process usually doesn’t involve an agenda, but merely chitchats. In the end, it may still come up with some directions or ideas. Yet, the whole process is quite inefficient. So, I gathered some advice inspired by social distancing measures. This is to help make brainstorm meetings easier, more efficient, and safe.

As mentioned before, I think meeting size greatly affects the efficiency. So, restrict the number of participants. Just invite those who are involved in that agenda. It also saves others’ time. Similarly, the meeting time should also be limited. It should preferably be within thirty to sixty minutes. As you know, there’s a limited time for the brain to be highly concentrated. During such an exhausting period, the brain also needs to stimulate its energy to generate different ideas. The longer the meeting time, the greater the burden to the brain. This is visibly not beneficial for brainstorming. Moreover, the extended meeting time will also dominate the time for handling other urgent work. Which eventually leads to working overtime. Seemingly a vicious cycle. 

Besides the meeting size and time, an agenda is a must for each meeting. It controls the flow of the meeting which helps drill into the most important issues for discussion. It’s also handy to jot down action points. Once the meeting is over, participants can immediately carry out their work by referring to their agenda and action points. I think these implementations help bring efficiency to the meeting. If you prefer a meeting in a chitchat style, discussing while having a tea set in the restaurant might be a better choice. At least it’s more refreshing.

Back to the basics, no matter which position you are staying at, it’s worth contemplating whether so many meetings should be planned. A day full of meetings doesn’t show high productivity. Usually, brilliant ideas come from daily life. It’s more important if you could catch up with these suddenly popped up ideas. Some tools will be a very good helping hand in this situation. For example, Evernote is a very convenient note-taking software. As long as you have downloaded it onto your commonly used devices, you can easily record any inspirations at any time.

There’s still one more thing you could do to resolve lengthy meetings, like what I’ve done in my company. You can adopt a stand-up meeting. It proficiently shortens the time. And thus, boosts up the efficiency.

Reference: https://www.visiongo.hsbc.com.hk/zh-HK/article/social-distancing-measures-should-be-implemented-on-brainstorm-meetings

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