Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 03 2014

Take The Quiz! 8 Ways To Tell Whether You’re Really Open To Change

It’s time to take a quiz. Don’t worry, though. There’s no studying necessary.

It’s the same test that executives at companies like Pfizer, Sprint, American Express and a range of other organizations have taken during their work with Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO, futurethink. In Bodell’s opening keynote address at Convening Leaders 2014, she asked more than 4,000 meeting professionals these eight questions to get a sense of how open they really are to change.

Ready? Just answer yes or no.

  1. Our organization pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. We are curious and imagine how to apply trends to our business to stay ahead.
  2. Our employees are comfortable asking provocative questions to stretch team thinking.
  3. We’re not happy with a simple answer. We like to focus on ‘why not’ rather than ‘why’?
  4. Our teams apply best practices from offbeat sources to creatively solve problems.
  5. We often look at what other companies and industries adjacent or even unrelated to ours are doing.
  6. Our people can think on their feet and nimbly change direction when faced with unforeseen challenges.
  7. When confronted with a change in plans, we can come up with good, maybe even better, ideas.
  8. Our employees do not easily give up on their beliefs and ideas when encountering adversity or disbelief.

SEE ALSO: 4 Questions Every Meeting Professional Should Answer

Grade Yourself

Now, on to the evaluation process. You’re on the honor code here, and you’ll be the only one who knows how you performed. Here’s the rundown on what your responses mean:

  • If you answered ‘yes’ to one or two questions, you’ve got some work to do. Your organization is accepting the status quo.
  • If you answered ‘yes’ to three to five questions, you can call yourself a risk taker. You recognize that today’s business environment has no time for fear of failure.
  • If you answered ‘yes’ to six to eight questions, you’re officially a change maker. You lead the way forward with a curious attitude that constantly looks to uncover new opportunities.

Create A Change-Conscious Culture

Change can be scary. What if a new approach to meeting design turns off some loyal year-after-year attendees? What if the Board of Directors of your organization isn’t receptive to unconventional thinking? What if you fail?

While all of these questions can easily make a team decide to adopt a what-worked-before-should-be-able-to-work-again mentality, that mindset will inevitably leave the organization in the dust. I like the way Marc Benioff, CEO of salesforce.com, looks at what his company is doing.

“Odds are, what we’re using today will be obsolete in a few years,” Benioff told Forbes. “The past is the never the future.”

How are you making sure your meeting is getting ready for tomorrow? Click here for a helpful webinar on how to update your experience to appeal to new attendees from new locations and new generations.

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