Different Approach

When the rolling thunder woke me up this morning about 6 AM, I watched the Science Channel.  Their subject was wakening up parts of your mind you don't use.  There was one mild electric shock that kind of blocked the left side of your brain and let you use the less restrictive side right side to help you think more outside of the box.   I think there has been something going on inside my head for years that has helped (Forced) me to use that side more often.   In fact, I am sure that if there was a main difference between the Master Gardener and me it would be that she tends to be a lot more sequential in her thinking and I tend to be less restricted.  In the school days I grew up in, there wasn't anything like ADD and Ritalin, but I would probably have been put on it.

At least 25 years ago, I attended a planning meeting in North Little Rock, AR.  It was a really nice meeting that helped me find a lot of new ways to look at problems.  It also was a Meeting Facilitator class that showed us ways to run meetings.  It just opened up to me the ways to put a group of people together and to solve problems.  Being an extrovert, that's my favorite way to roll. 

One of the first things we did as an ice breaker was to build our Indian shield.  This was a graphic (Hand Drawn) picture of who we were using the method the Indians used.   Where you sat was the way you had to present your input to the others.   Those on the North side of the campfire had to look at things in a way that represented the future.  The "what if" side.  Those on the south side had to look at the problem in terms of what worked in the past.  If you sat on the east side of the fire you had to use logic and sequence your input.  Those on the west side used the heart.  It opened a lot of the members to the fact that you can look at problems from more than one side. 

The Science Channel program this morning used this method of problem solving by breaking problem solving into six "Hats" you wore to look at problems different.  They assigned colors to the hats and attributes to each color.    I think they used the four primary colors and the last two were black and white.  What colors you use and what attribute you assign to each isn't as important as to use a process to force you to answer the same question differently as you think about possible solutions to a problem and the possible outcomes.    

One of the things I hate most of all is to attend a meeting that has no set agenda or process and it just meanders until it dies.  If the group agrees that there is a formal way to do the meeting it just seems to be more precise and get to the end faster.  Most groups use Robert's rules of Order and that seems to get the job done well.  Start with the minutes of the last meeting as the start point and that should review what was done and what was left on the table.  Then in order, the group presents individual reports from each person and then the leader recaps and moves on to new business.  When that is done, the meeting is closed and minutes are made of the meeting. 

This past week I asked several people if they knew what the Chapter Bylaws for our Chorus were.  I was told that whatever is on the Web Site for the Overall Corporation was what we used.  Then someone said there are some Chapter Policies (Standard Operating Procedures) that we have adopted but no one could produce a copy of those.   I kind of rummaged through the music storage room until Jason just pitched in and found a copy of both for me.  It is my intent to see that every member of the chorus gets a copy and that the 12 year old SOP is updated.  I know that this makes me look like the rules Nazi but what I really want is to have everyone feel they know what we are to do and not to be subjected to one person's personal opinion or agenda. 

I am not sure if this is what you expected when you came to this blog today, but I felt it was needed for me to get my juices flowing as I attack a problem.

Oh by the way, the Troy Built mower did have a bad blade tower and one blade was slipping after it had hit something.  When the RPM's got down, that blade would just slip and not turn as fast as the other.  You can imagine how that would cause the shakes.  The really good news is that the nut that holds the blade on is a lot bigger than the small bolt/nut on the typical mower and the blade would not just break the bolt and throw the blade.   The bad news is that with shipping and handling the tower will cost almost $100.00.  Oh well, it is on order and I will have it up and running by Saturday.


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