September’s newsletter talked about the role of conflict (social environment often associated with disagreement, hence options). This month I will add “BOPSAT,” a key cause of conflict, to the lower left quadrant.
Michael Schrage, Research Fellow at the MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, writes about BOPSAT:
“Why does collaboration require shared work space? …Imagine a meeting of a dozen people in an office conference room. They are seated around a boardroom table. The group’s meeting method is what I like to call the BOPSAT—Bunch Of People Sitting Around Talking. More precisely, people take turns talking. As Schrage describes it, “When someone talks, he is the focus of discussion. People look at him. People react to what he says and how he looks. . . .The meeting is a carousel of egos, each grasping for the brass ring of attention. The group does nothing.” He goes on to explain that the group does nothing because, “Everything about the design of the meeting encourages individuals to make their points, not the group to create a shared understanding. . . . There’s nothing in the ecology of meetings that encourages collaborative creativity, problem solving, or decision making.” What’s missing from the ecology of a BOPSAT meeting is shared work space.
Continued summary from Schrage: Collaboration and Shared Workspace
Comparing BOPSAT and Collaborative Meetings
Next month’s December newsletter will be my last. As I inch towards retirement, writing monthly articles is one thing that will fall off my to-do list. I am planning to archive about 80+ articles on my website ( www.johncanfield.com ) in the new year.
You are welcome to write or call and request a tool recommendation for any issue you may have in one of your upcoming meetings.
A favorite example of BOPSAT in action from the movie Moneyball (warning: locker room talk): BOPSAT example
A favorite example of non- BOPSAT in action from the movie Moneyball non-BOPSAT example
Books: The Good Thinking Series
Independent trainer and meeting facilitator John Canfield helps clients build high performance business teams. Find out more about he can help your company or organization at http://www.johncanfield.com and www.goodthinkingseries.com. Call or write 616-283-5588 | firstname.lastname@example.org