Could doodling in board meetings improve individual concentration and overall board effectiveness?

An interesting research article published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology (February 2009) suggests that rather than being frowned upon, doodling should be actively encouraged in meetings because it improves our ability to pay attention.

As reported in the Guardian (27 February 2009), Jackie Andrade, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Plymouth, UK, believes that when people are stuck in a boring meeting or listening to a tedious conversation, their minds naturally begin to wander.

“A simple task like doodling may be sufficient to stop daydreaming without affecting performance on the main task,” she said. “In everyday life, doodling may be something we do because it helps to keep us on track with a boring task, rather than being an unnecessary distraction that we should try to resist doing.”

Healthcare Governance Review wonders whether this research may have important implications for developing higher performing board members….and boards.

The full research paper can be downloaded here.


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