During the ITLACON 2015 SessionThe Need for Speed: Rapid-Fire Problem-Solving in a Time-Starved World,” attendees hoped to learn to make better, faster decisions with their teams. The session was structured as a workshop in which more than 200 attendees were split into small teams and prompted to make quick decisions on complex challenges such as: “Your team is responsible for building technology for a firm recently merged with three other firms. You will have one year to roll out the infrastructure. What do you do?”

During the session, Kenedo CEO Matthew Homann introduced a creative mix of cutting edge decision-making tools which utilize visual thinking, the theory of constraints, the power of silence, Scrum and the Fibonacci Sequence, while helping attendees better meet, think and learn together.

Through a series of exercises, participants honed their critical thinking skills in a fast-paced, snap decision-making, collaborative environment. Many of the tables gravitated toward a results oriented approach, but Homann cautioned this might be a fallacy in the legal industry. While attorneys may experience a result such as a decision, settlement or transaction 10-15 times a year, their clients may only experience a result after four years of intense litigation or negotiation. Many attorneys boast they can offer results, but few consider every step of the process for a client before they get that result. The process of getting a result can take much longer than any other portion, and the client will spend most of their time there.

Key Takeaways

Homann urged the audience to try asking for five unreasonable requests per day. The philosophy behind this is that you’ll get better at asking for things in general, and sometimes you’ll actually be surprised that people may perceive your request as more reasonable than you anticipated.

He shared an anecdote about a woman who was trying this method and asked a low-ranking friend at Microsoft if she could have an interview with Bill Gates for a book she was writing – a very unlikely and unreasonable request, from her perspective. To her surprise, her request was eventually forwarded to Gates’ assistant and accepted. Homann pointed out that stretching yourself may enable you to break through imaginary boundaries which may be holding you back. Ultimately the key message from the session was similar to Shia Labeouf’s infamous motivational message: Just Do It, Make Your Dreams Come True! Don’t dwell on negative outcomes or failure points, focus on the big picture and proceed with optimism and creativity.