I often find there’s a point in the waking up process where I find myself in a liminal “between” space, still in a dream but increasingly conscious of my surroundings.
As the sun rose over Widemouth bay this morning, I was still in a zoom meeting with people I worked with, doing the usual meetingy things, , when an idea asked to join the discussion. The idea said quietly, firmly but kindly, “you’re missing the point here; please bring me into the meeting.”
I pressed the “admit” button, but got a message saying, “you do not have authority to admit this idea to the meeting – you need administrator rights. Please contact the administrator.” The idea was explaining to me why we were missing the point all the time this was going on. We talked about working from home policy when we should have been talking about the nature of the work we were asking people to do. If we got that right, the idea said that where it got done would become a secondary issue.
I asked who had administrator rights. The Head of operations said “why”, to which I replied, “there is an idea that wants to join the meeting”.
“Is it on the agenda?” she said,
“Then I don’t see why it needs to come in, and anyway, I’m not the administrator”
“Is it a validated idea, does it have evidence of success, and how much is it?” asked HR. Anyway. I’m not the meeting administrator.
“Will it ensure we meet this quarter’s budget?” asked Head of sales.
“Is it GDPR accredited?” asked Head of IT. They weren’t administrators either.
I explained briefly what the idea wanted to talk about and got the response, “it’s not on the agenda – set up a meeting for next month and send round a position paper so we can come prepared to discuss it.
I turned back to the idea to explain this, but there was a message left in the waiting room saying it had someone else on the line who wanted to talk about it now, so she had to go and hoped my meeting went well.
I woke up at that point, irritated until, as I became properly awake I realised I don’t have to go to those meetings anymore. I can talk to ideas anytime and anywhere I like, and with people who will welcome it and know how to talk with it into the discussion.
Together, we can decide what happens next and with who.
I don’t miss meetings one tiny little bit, but I have learned to love conversations where ideas are made unconditionally welcome.