The jig is up! You haven’t started training to be an Innovation Development and Engagement Advisor (I.D.E.A.), but that doesn’t mean you can’t start guiding your co-workers and teammates to better brainstorming and collaboration. Here are 6 tips for getting started in empowering creativity and invention in your next meeting:

 

  1. Hello, My Name Is…
  2. Ice-Breakers can be useful not only to up the energy at the start of a meeting, but also so that participants can get to know each other. Feeling comfortable with everyday co-workers (or even a room full of strangers) is essential for collaboration.

     

  3. Am I at camp?
  4. The environment that a meeting takes place in is as important as the participants. How can you expect people to think creatively if they’re stuck in a dim, blank boardroom? Fill the space with brain games — rubiks cubes or puzzles — to get people thinking outside of their normal space.

     

  5. Got a pen?
  6. Encourage quantity over quality during brainstorming sessions or ideawalks with an ample number of sticky notes, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, tape, index cards…whatever you think will get the ideas out of peoples’ heads and onto paper.

     

  7. Dance. Break.
  8. Movement encourages energy and new perspectives — so don’t spend the whole meeting sitting down! Whether it’s a quick game of musical chairs, a jaunt around the block, or a rousing rendition of the Chicken Dance get your people up and out of their seats to keep the collaboration going.

     

  9. Om-nom-nomnivore.
  10. Thinking is hard work, so don’t let people go hungry! Focus on healthy snacks and loads of hydration (and caffeine.) Yes, there’ll be a lot of bathroom breaks, but you’ll be able to keep focus better if you aren’t crashing off that all-carb breakfast an hour later.

     

  11. Focus on the positive.
  12. There are no wrong answers. Any idea or thought that comes out of a meeting could lead to the next BIG IDEA. Make sure that nothing gets discounted, and that all the information from the session is captured. You never know where the solution is going to come from, or what will create sparks for someone else.

 


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