Regardless of what you are doing, most things in this world have their own “easy button”. For example, if you are making dinner, there is a wide variety of ready to go options: take-out, heat and eat, and kits created with everything you need to make a healthy dinner. Present shopping used to require more then it does today with Amazon wish lists, easy wrapping and simple shipping options. Believe it or not this easy button exists for teams to innovate as well.
Innovation requires a few basic necessities and adding a few additional accessories can create an environment that oozes innovative creativity. Try out a few of these in the next meeting you have or let us help you design your next team meeting and get the best results possible.
The Right Tools
Doing any job requires you to have the right tools. Make sure you have created an agenda and shared that with the meeting attendees. Make sure there are plenty of office supplies for people to use: pens, paper, markers, whiteboard, and sticky-notes. Even if you aren’t specifically headed for a brainstorming session, the supplies could inspire a much needed working session that could solve a current challenge.
The Right Environment
Here at the CIC, we are enveloped in a truly collaborative and creative environment. There are places to meet, to work, to eat, and to play. Each of those spaces has a unique and important role to play. If your creative meetings are in the same place as your board meetings, move them. If there are space constraints, then consider adjusting the environment to set the tone for out of the box thinking. Put up giant sticky pads, adjust the seating, or be creative about how you capture the group’s feedback with brightly colored papers or notepads. Encourage people to put down their laptops for some time period and save texting for the next texting break.
The Right Players
Making sure the right people are in the meeting is as important as making sure the wrong people are not in the meeting. Understanding your goals, agenda, decision makers, and roles will help you determine who should be involved. Don’t discount someone coming to the meeting for things like tenure or job title. Encourage differing opinions and create safe spaces like breakout sessions, so all voices can be heard.
The Right Timing
Thinking about when to have your meeting should not only consider the calendar of those people involved, but it should also consider people’s schedules. 8am on a Monday morning is not going to be the most effective use of the time, neither is Friday at 3pm. Consider proving snacks or encouraging people to bring their own, especially if you are meeting for more then 2 hours.
The easy button for innovation is about preparing, the environment, and the right team.