Nothing is more energizing than having great ideas fly around a meeting room and everyone is engaged in solving problems and getting things done. In tough economic times, seeing employees express ideas about how to keep the business booming is especially rewarding. “We should put this on the website!” “We can get advertising to highlight this feature in the next marketing campaign!” “Customers will love the ability to download this information!”
You want to keep these great expectations moving from one meeting to the next and ensure that the best ideas are not allowed to stall. It’s important that the great ideas “we” need to act on are not lost. Those ideas are gold and the miners of that gold are in the room.
The Problem with “We”
To get to the gold, you must eliminate the Nothing Has Been Done with the Great Ideas We Had in the Last Meeting syndrome. And why does nothing get done? Because “we” were going to do it.
To harness the power of every employee you must remember that the pronoun “we” doesn’t do anything or get anything done. When a person says “we” should do something, that’s great! What’s even greater, though, is when everyone is led to move a “we” to an “I”… with an accompanying “by-when”.
Imagine how the results of your team will skyrocket when individuals begin saying things like…“We have come up with some great stuff! I am especially excited about customers downloading this information. I’ll own that, and by the next meeting I will have an outline for you.”
Grab and Go
Full-out brainstorming is fun and productive so long as “we” know that each “I” will have an opportunity to grab onto something they can be enthusiastic about and follow through on. This requires leaders who possess an ownership mindset and take responsibility for a successful end result before the meeting begins. They must encourage employees to listen for things they can “own” and ensure that the best ideas (the ones that generate enthusiasm, energy and a winning set of strategies) are snatched up.
The skill is to recognize the potential in the room and not shut people down with a You Say It, You Own It approach. Employees are much more likely to emerge with their best thinking when they know they’re not going to get stuck doing something they don’t want to do. (And, you can always circle back to address any un-owned “we” or missing “by-when”.) A meeting becomes a gold mine when employees can pick the idea they see the most potential in, grab it and say the three golden words: “I’ll own that!”
Training Solution: Accountability That Works! The accountability model in this video will help you create a workplace where employees take ownership and achieve results.