Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Meeting Trolls

Seth Godin gives us a description of a particularly nasty species, the Meeting Troll.  A couple of choice excerpts:
1. The meeting troll has a neverending list of reasonable objections. It's the length of the list that makes the objections unreasonable.
2. Despite his protestations about how much he hates meetings, the meeting troll actually thrives on them, because, after all, this is the only place he gets to do his best work. The very best way to extinguish the meeting troll is to  extinguish meetings. The second best way is to not invite him.
[...]
6. Growth hackers look for a yes at every turn. The meeting troll thinks his job is to find the no.
[...]
9. The meeting troll has a perfect memory for previous failures and complete amnesia when it comes to things that have worked.
Well worth a read.  Go over to Seth's blog and check it out.

For the month of April, Mad Theatrics is going to focus a little bit on what should be the true spirit of April Fools Day: learning to be a little more skeptical in our response to the information presented to us. This extends to ferreting out where we've been bamboozled, hoodwinked, and manipulated into accepting someone else's agenda, all the while being diverted off a path that we know is right for us as an artist.

The Meeting Troll is a humbug. Making art is risk-taking, and the Meeting Troll hates risk. His job is to put a damper on things and prevent the sort of risk-taking that can result in artistic triumph but more often than not failure. Like Seth says, he's not evil, he's just afraid, and it's understandable.  No one wants to fail, no matter how essential failure is to growth.

I've been in meetings that were what I term "yes, and ..." meetings, and I've been in meetings that were "no, but ..." meetings. Guess which type actually produces something of value? Hint: the Meeting Troll thrives in the other type.

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