Best Quotes From Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold

Let’s face it, most meetings suck. They suck our time, they suck our energy, they suck our productivity, they can even feel like they suck our very souls from our bodies.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our entire business is built on the idea that meetings (and meeting space) don’t have to suck. In fact, when done well a meeting can actually FUEL your team’s productivity, energy, and impact.

There are surprisingly few books dedicated to how to have better meetings. Maybe we’ll write one someday. In the meantime, Meetings Suck by Cameron Herold is one that is a quick read and holds some great tips and philosophies to help you have meetings that, well, don’t suck so much. If you like the quotes, check out the whole book on Amazon.


Here are our favorite quotes from the book Meetings Suck:


“The problem isn’t that meetings suck; it’s that we suck at running them.”


“We aren’t training or equipping our people with the right skills and tools to run effective meetings. It’s like sending your kid into a Little League game without ever giving him a glove and playing catch in the backyard, or teaching him how to swing a bat, how to slide into second base to avoid a tag, or even the basic rules of how to play the game. Throwing your child into a game without any preparation will only lead to an embarrassment of errors and his hatred for the experience. And yet, that’s essentially what we do with our employees when we send them into meetings without training them.”


“Whether you attend or run a meeting you have to impact it in a positive, meaningful way. It’s more than walking into the room and sitting quietly at the table while the meeting happens around you. No, it requires you  to have a give-and-take approach where you gain value from being present, and you give value by speaking up. This means you need to become comfortable raising your ideas, even if those ideas conflict with others in the room. “


“You can save a significant amount of time by having a proper agenda and allowing your people to opt in or out of meetings to which they don’t feel they can add value.”


“Regardless of rank, people need the freedom and permission to raise their hands during a meeting to say ‘I disagree,’ or ‘I think differently.’ And they must know their opinion will be heard — in fact, regardless of position, everyone on your team deserves to be heard. Everyone in a meeting should be considered equals.


On weekly goal setting meetings: “In my experience, this is the most consequential type of meeting because it allows the leader to set goals for the upcoming week and to establish a rhythm and focus for team  members.”


“At the end of the day, you should treat a meeting like a job interview. You wouldn’t go into a job interview without being prepared. You wouldn’t go into a job interview late. you wouldn’t go into a job interview without putting your best foot forward.”


“You might have a dozen people able to add value to a meeting, but if you can git covered with five, then cover it with five.”


“When you’re creating your agenda, it’s helpful to ask two questions about attendees:  1. Do I need to have all these people I’m thinking about inviting? 2. Do these people need to sit through the entire meeting, or do I only need them for a portion of the meeting, on a particular subject.?”


“Imagine that everyone who shows up represents fifty dollars. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you invite the wrong two people, or two people come to an unnecessary meeting every day, then you’ve wasted one hundred dollars and prevented two people from providing more value by remaining at their desks and getting their work done. Say this happens once a day; that’s one hundred dollars a day, multiplied by 250 operating days. That is $25,000 a year that disappeared because you invited the wrong people to a meeting. If this goes on for years then it could cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s only if you’re inviting two people wrongly. Imagine if the majority of people attending meetings in the company shouldn’t be?”


“‘No agenda, no attenda,’ is my motto.”


“Keep your agenda simple, short, and sweet. It should be so brief that it could be written on a Post-It Note.”


“All meeting styles have pros and cons, but miscommunication and misplaced expectations cause the cons. As the organizer of a meeting, it’s incumbent upon you to communicate clearly and set the right expectations for your team. And if you’re attending, know what you’re walking into.”


“In general, meetings and obligations tend to fill the space you give them. Estimate how long you think a meeting, or task, will take, and then cut it in half. By limiting the time, you increase your productivity, maximize efficiency, and implement a more highly profitable system of time management.”


Check out our #1 tip on how to have your Best Meeting Ever.

Check out our favorite quotes from one of our favorite books, The Power of Moments.


Best Quotes from The Power of Moments

Do you ever have a book that keeps appearing on your radar over and over? You see it on every bookshelf, you hear people quoting from it, and several of your friends tell you (in the same week), “You should read this book. You’ll love it.”

That’s what happened with The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. One of our recent guests asked if we had read the book because, as he said, “You guys already DO this stuff.” He was right. This book resonated with all of us because we’ve discovered that moments can make or break the entire perception of a meeting. Creating memorable moments for guests is one of our primary goals.

We read the Power of Moments and dedicated one of our recent staff meetings to a book club type discussion. We unanimously agreed that we loved the book, not just because it aligns with the way we operate, but because it also provided us with new ways to think about how we can create even more peak moments for our guests, team, families, etc.

I asked my team what their favorite quotes from the book were. There are SO many good ideas in this book, however since our business revolves around meetings, team building, and service.

Here are our favorite quotes from the Power of Moments book:


“Not every meeting needs to be a “defining moment.” But once every 5 to 10 meetings, find a way to break the script.”


“Beware of the soul-sucking force of ‘reasonableness’ otherwise you risk deflating your peaks. Speed bumps are reasonable. Mount Everest is not reasonable.”


“Laughter is more about the relationships than the humor. We laugh to tie the group together. Our laughter says, I’m with you. I’m part of your group.”


“Being innovative starts with getting outside the office and it doesn’t ‘hurt’, it feels good!  It stimulates you and stretches you and reinvigorates you.”


“You endure a grueling experience with others and emerge with bonds that will never break.”


“In life, we can work so hard to get the kinks out that we forget to put the peaks in.”


“To elevate a moment, do three things: First, boost sensory appeal. Second, raise the stakes. Third, break the script.”


“The ‘occasionally remarkable’ moments shouldn’t be left to chance! They should be planned for, invested in. They are peaks that should be built. And if we fail to do that, look at what we’re left with: mostly forgettable.”


“To exceed customer expectations and create a memorable experience, you need the behavioral and interpersonal parts of the service. You need the element of pleasant surprise.”


“To increase positive variance is to welcome humanity and spontaneity into the system. And that means giving employees license to break the script.”


“The reason people hate meetings is that emotion is deliberately squeezed out. Participants sit and listen to programmed presentations. But this is a choice, not an inevitability. You can just as easily conduct a meeting that has drama, meaning, and connection. You cannot bring two teams together by simply talking about unity. They must experience unity. That’s what makes it a defining moment.”


And our favorite quote from Power of Moments:

“It’s going to be way harder than you think to create peaks. But once you’ve done it, you’re going to consider every ounce of effort worth it.”

Four Proven and Powerful Team Building Exercises

Gone are the days of trust falls and human knots. Team building exercises have taken a serious scientific turn in the past few years and there are many proven exercises that can help bring your team together or get them performing at a higher level. Here are sparkspace, we firmly believe in the importance of team building, and we find it helpful to incorporate team building exercises into key meetings. Corporate team building activities, such as escape rooms, are a growing part of workplace culture as they help to promote teamwork and communication and can even help form friendships that may not have blossomed otherwise. Not sure what that would look like? Here are four ideas to build trust, communication, and creativity within your group.

To Bring a New Team Together

If you’ve just added people to your team or this is the first time a particular set of people have worked together, a great way to bring the group closer is to encourage social bonding in a non-work environment. In a LinkedIn study, 46% of professionals worldwide indicated that having friends in the workplace was crucial for their overall work satisfaction.

Bringing a group of people together socially requires organization and planning. Many people, when left to their own devices, are too shy to speak up in social situations which is why a structured activity that finds common ground between team members is best. One example of this is our North Market Interactive Lunch. Everyone loves to eat, so the engagement and conversations that come with a “foodie adventure” are sure to spark team bonding.

For Better Team Communication

Miscommunication can lead to something as innocent as a missed project deadline or as massive as losing your biggest client. If your team is having trouble communicating clearly, first get everyone out of the office. Typically communication issues are tied to trust so getting everyone out of their usual environment will clear the way for a breakthrough experience. Games are another way of help to build a better team. If you are interested in team building las vegas has some options that might be helpful.

Improv Comedy is a great exercise in getting everyone synchronized. As our friends at local improv troupe, Hashtag Comedy say, “Basic improv skills encourage listening and connecting in a collaborative manner. Improv games help employees to suspend judgment and overcome blocks to creative problem-solving. In addition to building better communication among co-workers, improv also aids in interactions and engagement with clients and customers.”

You can add an Improv Team Building Workshop to your next meeting at sparkspace if you want to start improving your team’s ability to communicate with one another.

Gain Cooperation

Perhaps your team is already established, but they just can’t seem to get it together for this particular assignment. Personalities are clashing, and no one can agree on where to head the project next. If you need to encourage cooperation or collaboration amongst your group, try some volunteer activities.

When employees work together for a very clear goal, such as serving lunch at a soup kitchen or participating in a litter cleanup, they gain a sense of pride and accomplishment that carries back into the office.

Increase Creative Problem Solving

Being creative and innovative can be difficult in a rigid corporate world. If you want to encourage problem-solving, the first requirement is to create a problem. I’m sure many groups would consider being locked in a room together with a problem, which is why an escape room is a great activity. These rooms challenge participants to find a final exit key or code through a series of riddles or clues. You should be able to find an escape room local to you no matter where you live/work. For example, if you live in Chicago, why not check out and get booked in!

If you want your team to start thinking outside the box and come up with innovative solutions for your project, give them a chance to work together on something completely creative and non-work related.

While some employees will roll their eyes at the first mention of team building exercises, more and more businesses are finding fun and innovative ways to engage employees, bring teams together and increase productivity and their bottom line. Try a new team building activity in your office or join sparkspace for one of ours!

Why Columbus Sparks Creativity

Research shows that the company you keep plays a large role in your ability to think creatively. Luckily for central Ohioans, Columbus is one of the top cities in the country in terms of sparking creativity. As a creative meeting space, our entire ideology rests on the belief that getting out of the office and into a new and stimulating environment is the key to sparking creativity and ideas. We believe that good ideas are borne of new experiences and that creativity is sparked through stepping out of the norm.

Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time local, there’s something for everyone in Columbus. Don’t believe us? Try out a few of these hotspots, and you’ll see for yourself why Columbus sparks creativity for business professionals:

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is a great place to go to see the creative work of others, but it’s also known for spectacular workshops and events that can help spark creativity. From luncheons to open studios in combination to the exhibits themselves, this museum is a must-see part of Columbus if you’re looking for a little inspiration.

North Market

This casual eatery is one of the hallmarks of Columbus culture and a top destination for tourists of the city. The lively lunch rush makes North Market the perfect place to get a taste of fresh cuisine while enjoying some people watching. With cuisines from all around the world cooked upon order with fresh, local ingredients, North Market gives you the inspiration of the world without ever having to leave the city.

They say the way to the heart is through the stomach, but North Market just might prove that it’s not just the heart you’ll reach…but perhaps your creativity as well. And don’t forget to visit the North Market with your team while you’re here at sparkspace too!

Comedy Shows

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, but who knew it can also be the key to creativity? At least that’s the idea behind Hashtag Comedy Co., a local comedy improv group. Through their improv classes and corporate workshops, they can help you and your team get up, get laughing, and start thinking outside of the box. We believe in the creative benefits of improv so much that we offer an improv team building experience right here at sparkspace, lead by Hashtag Comedy!

Short North Arts District

The Short North is regarded as the “art and soul” of Columbus due to its dynamic culture and unique community. Many young business professionals live in the district, which gives the area a young, vibrant feel. There are many opportunities to get involved with the community, from gallery hops every first Saturday of the month to fun nights out at the district’s bars. Engaging with other young professionals in a culture-rich area might be just what you need to spark your next great idea!


Creativity doesn’t come from sitting in an office forcing yourself to think. It comes from vibrant experiences and energizing environments. Business professionals in central Ohio are nestled perfectly within a city bursting with opportunities to get involved and spark creativity. The next time you need a new idea, try stepping out of the office and into a new experience and you might just realize how quickly it sparks creativity!

Three Common Myths About Team Building

You’ve been instructed by your boss to include a “team building activity” on to your company’s upcoming retreat. You can practically hear the groans coming from nearby cubicles as you send the Outlook invite. Why does team building have such a bad reputation? What is the purpose of team building? Maybe because there’s such a stereotype associated with it.

Here are the 3 common myths we hear about team building:

1. Team building puts people to sleep. On the contrary! A well-executed, simple team building activity will leverage each individual’s unique problem-solving skills so everyone feels engaged (and no one feels bored). You can even make things a bit competitive by having a corporate cooking competition!

2. Team building isn’t fun. At sparkspace, we believe the best team building experiences don’t involve work or solving problems related to your work…those type of activities typically tank. Instead, focus on problem-solving with fun applications like playing games. Escape rooms are the perfect combination of fun, problem solving and teamwork! See here for team building atlanta and the Paranoia Quest escape rooms!

3. Team building activities take too long. We agree with this one! Traditional team building can be a half day or – gasp – a full day affair. No thanks! An hour for team building is a great sweet spot to step away from your meeting, engage your team, and then go back into meeting mode.

sparkspace is trying to change the way companies do team building. We actually like to refer to it as team bonding instead of team building, since bonding is what it’s ultimately encouraging.

That’s why we’ve partnered with some amazing local companies to bring you our NEW Team Bonding Experiences, that help demonstrate the importance of team building.

Did we mention that this is really easy to add on to a meeting? And that you can add it on at any time during your meeting? Contact us to get more details or you can click the button below.

The Staggering Importance of Team Culture

Organizational culture. What is it and why does it matter so much?  One of my favorite team culture descriptions comes from Richard Perrin: Organizational Culture is the sum of values and rituals which serve as ‘glue’ to integrate the members of an organization.” The reason I love this definition is that it speaks to both the WHAT (rituals) and the WHY (values) of team culture in the workplace.

Why does organizational culture matter?

When team members of an organization feel safe, valued and aligned with the company’s overall vision and mission, the glue that holds them together is strong. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the positive impact that culture has on efficiency and productivity!

How do we take intentional action toward creating a positive team culture?

Here are ways you can get started today:

  • Create space and opportunities for your team and members of your organization to connect outside of formal meetings. A study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that the energy and engagement level of a team can be greatly increased by simply structuring coffee breaks so that all members of the team can break together.
  • Deal directly with policies, processes and people that propagate negative experiences that are destructive to a healthy culture. Though this is far from pleasant and desirable, the consequences of addressing issues with a passive, or blanket approach – or worse yet ignoring them – are far greater than the discomfort of tackling them quickly and head on. A productive way to approach these difficult situations is through meeting facilitation, which we offer at sparkspace. Our expert facilitators can help you and your team smoothly navigate any conflicts or issues.
  • Empower your people. Nothing builds trust like providing your people with the direction and resources they need to be successful and then giving them the space to do what they were hired to do. This doesn’t mean you have to be totally hands-off. It means you allow people to do their thing and serve as more of a guide, rather than their (micro)manager.

In what ways have you effectively created and/or strengthened the culture where you serve, work and lead? Please share with us by commenting on this blog post. In addition, plan your next offsite meeting or retreat with us here at sparkspace.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Team Retreat

When it comes to off-site team retreats, there are typically two kinds of people: those that love them and those that don’t. Despite this polarization, retreats can play a huge part in both the short and long-term success of your team and organization.

The key is knowing when a retreat makes sense for your team.

Off-site team retreats are most appropriate when they have a very focused and clear objective that reaches beyond immediate results. Retreat goals and objectives such as innovation, collaborative decision making, and process evaluation or improvement are just a few examples of great reasons for an off-site retreat. Or maybe your team has some baggage that is dragging down productivity and morale.

Besides the content of the meeting, a team retreat may be needed when you desire these outcomes the most:

  1. Gathering all parties vital to the desired outcome in the same place at the same time.
  2. Everyone away from the regular buzz and interruptions of the office for distraction-free work time.
  3. Work being done in real-time and face-to-face; eliminating the potential for misunderstanding and wasted time.
  4. Relationships being built and strengthened while working off-site and reenergizing your team beyond the event itself.

What are your reasons for an off-site retreat? Which of the benefits above would mean the most to you in tackling that objective head on?

Your first step is an easy one: get off-site.

There are plenty of staff retreat locations that help fit the goals and objectives of your retreat. Here at sparkspace, we can help you in facilitating the best retreat everAdding meeting facilitation from Team Sparkspace will strengthen the objectivity, focus, and creativity of discussion.

Three Team Outing Ideas in Downtown Columbus, Ohio

Three Team Outing Ideas in the Arena District

You’ve planned the perfect meeting and now it’s time to plan a memorable team outing for after the meeting. We are very lucky that our space is in the heart of the Arena District in Downtown Columbus. That means you’re close to some of the best restaurants and entertainment the city has to offer after your all-day meeting.

There’s nothing wrong with a team happy hour. However, we challenge you to go above and beyond.  We think putting a “twist” on the ordinary is what makes a meeting memorable. Read on for our favorite team and corporate outing ideas in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus Clippers Baseball Game

Head over to Huntington Park for America’s greatest pastime with your team! The Columbus Clippers have ticket packages for groups as well as options to rent suites for corporate outings.

Want to do some team building during the game? Check out our blog post about structured play on how to enhance your outing.

Downtown Columbus Segway Tour

The staff at sparkspace can personally vouch for this team activity! We loved going for a guided Segway ride altogether when we went during a special “Holiday Lights” tour last December. This is perfect if you’re looking for a small group activity.

Tours begin at the Convention Center (a short walk from our space) where you receive Segway driving directions and go for a spin on their test course before you hit the road.

Tours take you through Downtown Columbus and the Short North. Your tour guide gives you some history of the city as well as a hefty dose of humor. We did this as a team and loved it!

Team sparkspace bundled up for the Segway Tour!


Nada Mexican Restaurant

Nothing brings people together like being gathered around the table with great food. Nada’s private party room provides an eclectic, communal feel along with their legendary tacos.

We love recommending team dinners in their private space because it’s a great atmosphere for conversation. Their private room can sit up to 24 at one large table or 30-35 guests in a standing, cocktail-style dinner with food displayed. The room is also equipped with AV equipment if you simply must continue your presentation from the day into dinner.

Nada private dining space


Looking for more fun group activities in Columbus, Ohio? Contact us to brainstorm or consult with the Columbus pros at Experience Columbus!