Meetings can be boring and un-engaging. As a meeting facilitator, the onus is on you to keep the participants involved and engaged. Here are a few tips and ice-breakers:

  • Ask each attendee to bring one article/item for the facilitation kit. Spend the first few mins of the meeting asking them why they picked that item.
  • Use the speed dating concept: Divide the attendees into groups of two and ask them to converse. At the end – one of them introduces the other to the wider team and vice versa.
  • Bring a pack of playing cards and give each person three cards to use as speaking lifelines. They have to use these three cards before the meeting ends for three turns to express ideas/opinions. This will bring a balance of participation limiting the talkers and forcing the silent sheep to speak up.
  • Organize a building activity – most introverts will express ideas better by action than by words. Use marshmallows and stick noodles, or Legos as building blocks
  • Stickies and a wall – mind mapping helps people provide ideas and views anonymously
  • Use Red/Green tags for voting in/out options and ideas. Build heat maps.
  • Provide the attendees with some magazines and scissors and ask them to create a collage in 5-10 mins that describes them. And now let a neighbor introduce them based on the collage.

As a meeting organizer,

  1. Have a clear agenda. Communicate it well in advance
  2. If the meeting will have a presentation, send slides before hand. Encourage people to do some homework and come prepared with ideas for further discussion
  3. Try TED talk formats for idea sharing
  4. Retrospects and feedback are the essence of improvement – Ask audience what they liked about that meeting – What should you keep / change.
  5. Cater to all sects of people – extroverts and introverts. Extroverts need open platform to express while Introverts need specific and focused questions.
  1. Capturing Screen shots for design docshttp://sourceforge.net/projects/greenshot/files/latest/download
  2. Work Management: To Do list: http://www.getscattrbrain.com/
  3. Monitor SVN Commitshttp://tools.tortoisesvn.net/CommitMonitor.html
  4. Drag and drop scripts: http://woork.blogspot.com/2009/02/ultra-small-code-to-drag-everything-in.html
  5. Tool for mockups: Balsamiq
  6. Debug / sanitize JS: http://jsfiddle.net/
  7. Agile and Scrum collaboration: http://www.trello.com
  8. Class maps: http://www.wisemapping.com, free mindmap tool
  9. Others:  jira, basecamp


September 14,2008: The month of September any year doesn’t seem to be very favorable for financial markets in New York. The recent developments point to what experts say could be yet another depression in US history.

·        Lehman files bankruptcy

·        BOA buys Merrill – $50 billion

·        AIG plans sales to raise billions

·        WaMu in line ?

A bright and sunny weekend in Seattle and an overcast sky in New York for months to come.




More news:


1.      Wall Street on Red Alert

2.      Lehman – Chicken Game over

3.      After Frantic Day, Wall Street Banks Falter

4.      Greenspan: Economy in a once-in-a-century crisis

5.      Wall Street awakes to 2 storied firms gone



This video was inspired by the bizarre sequence of events on the Street in 2007. The use of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” came from a hilarious internet parody song “Here Comes Another Bubble” by the Richter Scales (available on YouTube). They did such a good job, I thought Wall Streeters everywhere deserved a parody of their own. This version does not have anywhere near the same sophisticated flash software but here it goes.

The video was produced for non-commercial amusement purposes only and is not intended to offend any people, companies or countries appearing in the video.


It’s the name of a piece of U.S. compliance legislation, with global implications, which was signed off in 2002. A key section, Section 404, went live on Nov. 15. It’s designed to prevent financial malpractice and accounting scandals such as the Enron debacle. It’s also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act. The shorter moniker comes from the names of Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a Democrat from Maryland, and Rep. Michael Oxley, R-Ohio, who are credited as the main architects of the Act. It’s becoming known as SOX or SarbOx or SOA.

The Act covers a whole range of governance issues, many covering the types of trade that are allowed within a company, with an emphasis upon keeping everything above board. For example, the Act forbids personal loans to officers and directors. Former WorldCom boss Bernie Ebbers had taken considerable loans from his company shortly before it became the center of a corporate scandal. Other measures regulate the responsibilities of audit committees sent in to check the health of companies’ compliance. The Act also offers protection to whistleblowers.


Positive people are happier, period. Tapping into your bright side is easier than you’d guess !!!

We all know people whose engagement with life can only be described as joyful. Fittingly, nature rewards these happy-go-lucky types: Being optimistic in middle age increases life span by at least 7.5 years — What’s behind their hardiness: They minimize the destructive effects of stress. Of course, optimists get stressed, But they automatically turn the response off much more quickly and return to a positive mental and physical state.

Here are four habits that longevity experts say are at the heart of a sunny disposition—and that you can adopt, too: (more…)