THE POWER OF A COCKTAIL NAPKIN

THE POWER OF A COCKTAIL NAPKIN

Sometimes I do a ”Cocktail Napkin Exercise” at my training workshops. I discovered this exercise in a training lab (okay…it was a bar in Chicago one night). It was at the Drake Hotel, where they have some of the best cocktails in Chicago; but I digress. They were playing some fine Buddha Bar music and people were in a happy mood. The ambiance was just right for great conversation– like the one I was having with one of my clients.

As we talked, we thought of an idea, but didn’t have any paper to write it down. The bar tender gave us a pen we used a cocktail napkin to sketch out what we wanted to do. On this night, we created a leadership program that became one of the best his organization ever produced. Two or three cocktail napkins later we had things mapped out.

Of course I can’t take every group I work with out to Happy Hour to do training, but I can get them as close to the experience as possible. It really is effective, so I’m going to share the recipe with you:

Bring together a group of smart people with a great attitude and a thirst for knowledge. Try to find a room with a window so that they can see outside. Now add some motivating Pandora music and hand out cocktail napkins with some type of logo (for inspiration). Then give them ten minutes to brainstorm together as creatively as possible.

I don’t what it is about having something other than the lined paper that you normally use. Cocktail napkins seem to work especially well.

After you get the napkin, use the first topic that comes to mind and develop it. Money is no object and there are no obstacles stopping you. Just go wild and see what you come up with.

YOUR ACTION PLAN FOR THIS WEEK

When you are at Happy Hour this week (or hold a session for your team in your building) consider focusing on one of these questions and see where your cocktail napkin takes you.

1. What’s your wildest idea to increase your revenues this year? Create it.

2. What is this year’s biggest obstacle you are facing? Think of a solution.

3. What’s the one thing you are going to do differently next year? How will you make it happen?



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