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Flip the Table Over - 5 ways to kickstart disruptive planning

Cast your mind back to your last long-winded traditional meeting.

Does this situation sound familiar?

 You find yourself in a conference room with 10 other colleagues.

You are trying to resolve a key business problem emerging in the next 6 months, when suddenly two dominant personalities take over.

 In the few quiet lulls, 2 others people with great luck, manage to inject a few good points; here and there.

Shane in Finance doesn’t say a word, and everyone else openly watches the clock.  

 Up 80% of the participants do not manage to make a meaningful contribution, even though they have lots of valuable insights. The power of the exchange is diluted.

The opportunity to access the hidden good ideas is almost unfortunately diminished.

 But what would happen if you disrupted your traditional meeting structure?

 How can we go about this differently?

 The current model of disruptive innovation was coined by Professor Clayton Christiansen of Harvard Business School.

 He explains it as an innovation that creates a new market by applying a different set of values, which ultimately (and unexpectedly) overtakes an existing market.

 We all know how well mobile phones disrupted traditional fixed line telephones. Disruption pervades current business thinking, from technology through to art and music.

 So how do you create a disruptive session for your team that gets results, makes money, and engages your audience?

 The creation of a disruptive planning session

1.       Get your team into a different physical space.

Find a new space offsite that feels totally different to your current working environment. Co-working spaces like Hub Australia hire out light-filled, creative environments for teams like yours. Don’t set up chairs in a block or facing towards the front of the room – make sure the seating is comfortable and inclusive.

 2. Gather a group of widely skilled people with divergent views

If you’re an HR expert sitting in a room of other HR experts, you’ll only hear what you already know. Find extroverts, introverts, technical experts, financial advisors, creative types; anyone you need to create positive tension and inspire discussion.

 3. Use creative processes

Deploy whiteboards, markers, graphic recorders and presentation software like Prezi to get thoughts going. Whatever your team is used to and probably tired of (for example, PowerPoint), think of different visual cues to stimulate ideas.

4. Find a good facilitator

Round table facilitators like Tony Jones on Q&A and Jenny Brockie on Insight know how to draw people out – and when to shut them up. Once you’ve assembled the perfect disruptive planning team, an excellent facilitator will lead and get the best from the group.

 5.       Get yourself into a different head space.

The Art of Disruptive Planning involves being open to new ideas and this requires listening well, and building off other people ideas. So it pays dividends to be well aware of our behavior. Are you too loud, neutral or quiet? 

 Developing the art of adding or expanding some-one else good idea is called Plus Plus. We are well trained to often execute conversation to a purpose and to a conclusion, as opposed to “village conversation” which may go in concentric circles of conversation, until the last person has said everything is to be said, which will unveil more and more ideas. It pays to ask how and what are you bringing to the table?

 - When considering traditional vs. disruptive planning in your own business, it’s important to capture that ability to think differently.

-  With an external person – free from all the issues, dependencies and back stories of your current team – your disruptive planning session can come to life.


 Ideas Accelerator is an easy and proven 3 step method that helps people rapidly act on their ideas, get concepts to market faster, engage customers and be more profitable.

Contact Paul Wilson here  - For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about turning great ideas into action.

This started at a young age, and blossomed over time. So I have a very long record of working with people to make great stuff happen.

I look forward to hearing about your great ideas.