Jack Uldrich
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Create a Mental Detour

Posted in Behavior, Business, Change, Culture

For the past six months a local bridge in my neighborhood has been undergoing a major renovation.

Initially, I considered it quite a hassle because the bridge served as a link to my favorite grocery and liquor stores (and this summer has been very hot and I enjoy a cold beer!)

Over time, I’ve adjusted. I now drive different routes and have come to discover new sights, stores and shops that had previously escaped my notice.

Occasionally, I even walk to the stores via a pedestrian bridge–an experience I find most enjoyable.

What’s interesting to me is that I didn’t need the detour to discover these new options. They were always available to me. I simply chose to ignore them.

I believe the same is true in other aspects of ours lives.

What is a person to do?

One suggestion is to create the equivalent of mental detours.

For instance at your next weekly staff meeting try one of these “detours”:

A. Hold the meeting in a new location (perhaps outside).

B. Cut the length of the meeting in half.

C. Conduct the meeting standing up.

D. Prohibit the use of any visuals, handouts or PowerPoints.

E. Invite a person with an outside perspective to the meeting.

F. Add a new item to the agenda (i.e. “What do we need to unlearn?”)

G. Cancel the meeting outright.



One thought on “Create a Mental Detour”

  1. Chris Tracey says:

    “Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour” – William Cowper 1785
    Could he have been suggesting mental detours over 200 years ago? I like the suggestions for meetings. Disrupting expectations?
    Enjoy your good weather and your cold beer!

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