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10 questions to disrupt a meetingdis·rupt


verb (used with object)

1. to cause disorder or turmoil in: The news disrupted their conference.

2. to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity of; interrupt: Telephone service was disrupted for hours.

3. to break apart: to disrupt a connection.



We often use the word disrupt in a negative way. It usually describes an unruly person or situation.

That guy was totally disruptive while we were at the play, making it hard to pay attention.

 But, what if you started thinking about and using the word disruptive in a positive light? What if you thought about disruptive as something that could help you shift your thinking, get unstuck and move forward with more impact?

We disrupted the usual flow of the meeting and that opened up some new thinking in the room

At LaunchStreet, we strive to be disruptive, especially at meetings, and we encourage you to do the same.  Being disruptive can help you break free from legacy thinking, assumption based solutions and processes that are really just going through the motions. No entrepreneur or business can thrive, especially in today’s economy, with old school, obvious thinking. Disruption will shock the system and create the opening for innovative, meaningful ideation and solutions.

Here are 10 questions that are sure to disrupt any meeting.

  1. Who else is doing this outside of your category?
    Forces you outside of your category and day-to-day life, leading to more expansive thinking
  2. What if you didn’t do anything about it?
    Shakes up your assumptions and creates new perspectives on the task at hand
  3. What if you redefine failure and success?
    Gets you to assess and often re-think what could otherwise be legacy thinking that is driving decision-making in a traditional direction
  4. What if you did the opposite of everyone else in your category?
    Pushes you away from copy-cat thinking and into open space thinking where there is more room for innovation
  5. How would a 5 year old deal with this?
    Engages your child mind and often helps you find the simple, clear path instead of getting stuck in adult-minded unnecessary complexity
  6. What if you didn’t know anything about this, then what would you do?
    Gives you permission to remove the often needless handcuffs of too much information and use naive intelligence and imagination to come up with new ideas
  7.  Why, why and then why again?
    Forces you to dig deep and discover the real root of what you are discussing and changing your starting point changes your outcome
  8. How would Steve Jobs or Walt Disney  (insert any favorite innovator here) handle this?
    Gets you out of your own way and gives you permission to unleash your inner wild innovator
  9. So what makes you think that’s a real problem anyway?
    Challenges status quo thinking and pushed you down a new path of ideas
  10. If you were to draw this challenge, what would it look like?
    Diverts the left-brain and engages the right-brain for a more creative thought process.


If you are in a meeting with co-workers, partners or clients be prepared for a few tilted heads and expressions of confusion. This will disrupt their expectations, thoughts and actions. If you get a few blank stares, don’t worry and stick with it. It’s a shock to the system and may take people a few minutes to snap out of it! Once given the chance I’ve seen even the most mundane of them bust out with the most innovative ideas.


I dare you to disrupt and if you do, please share with comments below!

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