We’ve all attended those long, boring meetings where your stomach starts to growl and you stop paying attention because all you can think of is that bagel you should have grabbed in the office kitchen.
The host is monotonous and you have no idea why they even had the meeting; everyone else knows nothing more will come from it than the project email that was sent out earlier. The host expects this new widget, process, sales tool, etc. to simply apparate because it’s your teams’ job to meet deadlines.
These are the types of meetings that kill people’s imaginations, and turn them into drones that spend more time organizing their office supplies than they do working on their projects. If this is the type of employee you desire, then by all means keep doing what you are doing.
For those of us who enjoy our workplace and like the challenge that comes with new projects, consider these points when planning your next brainstorm/think-tank/hack-a-thon.
- Bring Food!
- It’s like a date- you want to encourage good conversation; not make small talk about being hungry. You incentivize your invitees with food, and that inherently makes them happy to attend, and hope to be invited back in the future- just like a second date.
- Bring in the Right People
- It’s great to get different types of brains in a room thinking out loud together. Your team is strong, but sometimes it is the unadulterated mind of an intern that can spur the best idea of the year.
- Dream Big!
- Don’t worry about the feasibility of an idea right off the bat. You have a team of expert developers/problem solvers to figure out the logistics of innovation- whether it’s digital, process, branding, etc.
- Visualize Ideas
- Write down what your team comes up with. Whether it’s a whiteboard, notebook or stick in the dirt; take notes! Once an idea of focus is adopted, scribble a flow chart of the goal and how the idea will accomplish it. Sometimes looking at a drawing is simpler to understand than reading through bullet points.
- Put Your Idea into Motion, and Finish!
- How often does a great idea end up gathering dust on a shelf because you get too busy? Don’t let that happen! Spend the last portion of your meeting building an outline for project delegation and estimate a realistic time of delivery/launch.