The Work : asking pesky questions?

But hold on …. I don’t want the answer in this meeting.

Asking pesky questions and not expecting answers. That’s the topic of our meeting today.

There is absolutely no way you can gather a cross functional group, ask the right questions to put you on a path to solving the problem and have the answer come out of that first meeting.

I am probably not being clear.

Say you get a request for Branding. Or, a logo. Possibly, a marketing plan.

The meeting is called: operations, product, the consultant, you, the director, your staff – all in the room.

Then, it begins.

You ask the pesky question: why?

You ask another: and success looks like?

And all Hades breaks loose. You better have someone taking notes.

Then, what is funny, I think most of the time the leaders think the answer will magically appear in that meeting.

It seldom does. Heck, for me, it never has.

Marketing is an Art and a Science.

If it was easy – you wouldn’t need that meeting to begin the process of solving the problem; for imagining success; for laying the groundwork; for the thinking that will help you build the strategy to get to the solution.

So, when you have those first meetings. When everyone is excited to do the “marketing.”

Set the expectation at the beginning: This is not that.

Tell them they aren’t leaving this half hour meeting with a communication plan.

Tell them you and your team need time to think.

Set the next meeting for review and validation of what your come up with – but, for goodness sakes don’t leave there with the phrase, or the tactic, or the color scheme … it’s just not the right time for that.

Why?

Because you end up with inferior blather. Things are left out, overlooked, missed and not thought through.

You don’t solve the problem that way.

So don’t let it happen, again.

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