Quick! To the Puppy Room!

CaptureWhere could stressed staff retreat to to escape the hurly burly of organisational life?

The endless complexity, troubling questions with no immediate answers and the work that won’t work, where to go to escape it and be rejuvenated by something simpler?

Quick! To the Puppy Room!

More than one university has started a puppy room for stressed students to visit during examination time. Yes, it is what it is, a room full of puppies. The stressed students come in, have a tumble with the puppies, stroke their noses etc and are rejuvenated with the simple niceness of them. Then leave refreshed to face exams.

This is a bit like meetings.

Good meetings are like a bath in puppies, a relief from the confusion of reality, and the annoying way it doesn’t seem to match what’s in your head.

I wouldn’t say that puppies meetings are evil, just not wholly accurate models of reality. The best that can be said for most meetings I’ve been in is that people don’t leave the room more miserable than when they went in.
No, I can do better than that, I think the best that can be said for most meetings is that time passes, and then people don’t leave the room more miserable than when they went in.

So what’s the alternative then?


In a meeting you make decisions. You can tell what was decided by reading the minutes

In an experiment, you find out what works so you can make a decision. You can tell what works by keeping your eyes open and looking around you.

In one of these people are comforted like being bathed in warm puppies.
In the other there are no guarantees, anyone can be wrong and reality is no respecter of rank.

What is more common in your workplace as a method of finding out what to do? Meetings or experiments?


This entry was posted in all wrong, command and control, leadership, plausible but untrue, systems thinking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Quick! To the Puppy Room!

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