We’re Lovin It: Big Mac inspired Office Trick

mcdonaldsWhatever your feelings about those notorious golden arches, I think we can all agree to agree that the consumption of McDonalds has no place in either movie theatres or the office. I’ll leave the ‘gray’ areas up to your discretion: post-Roxy recovery, milkshake cure-all, toddler happy-maker. I cannot judge. But as for the office, it remains some kind of unspoken no-fly/no-fry zone.

That’s why, when I first about the McDonald’s Theory via Medium, I thought to myself:


I’m going to use it.

When can I use it?

Then, I suggested to my fellow Smart Savvy-ers that we consider holding our next staff meeting over lunch (so I could use it).

The genius of the McDonald’s theory is this: people suddenly become highly motivated to contribute solid, action-worthy ideas when they’re faced with less than ideal options.

Here’s how it works:

If you find yourself in a blank-stare contest when trying to decide, with coworkers, where to go or order-in for lunch, try recommending McDonald’s. And see what happens. Better yet, read this first hand account. When the author uses the McD’s experiment at work, he says:

“an interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic! It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative.”

So, how can you begin using the McDonald’s theory to jumpstart your creativity and increase productivity at work today? Here’s 2 ideas on why you might be “lovin it” like we are:

1. Cure the Group Silent Treatment: That brainstorming session you planned was full of great intention until you heard it, the deafening silence coming from the floor.  Have the courage to grab a pen and throw something up on the whiteboard. Don’t overthink it. Just get something up and theory says, more ideas will get rolling.

2. Overpower your inner critic: It’s hard to say you can’t, when you are. Action is the best way to quiet the incessant voice telling you it can’t done. The article says: “the next time you have an idea rolling around in your head, find the courage to quiet your inner critic just long enough to get a piece of paper and a pen, then just start sketching it.” And when you start to think: “But I don’t have a long time for this!” or “The idea is probably stupid,” or, “Maybe I’ll go online and click around for—” Shut up and stop sabotaging yourself.

The author admits, “It takes a crazy kind of courage, of focus, of foolhardy perseverance to quiet all those doubts long enough to move forward. But it’s possible, you just have to start.”

So, today at work, why not look for those opportunities to say something, sketch something, do something – even in the face of uncertainty?  It just might trigger a real-life supersizing of something great.