Although many in-person meetings are still held in offices or conference rooms, try leaving the office behind where possible to promote flexible thinking and energized collaboration. Managers are creating playful and unconventional environments to help their teams think differently.
Some innovative companies have found that fresh and powerful insights can emerge when they challenge conventional notions of how meetings are conducted and bring people together by holding different meeting formats.
Here are four meeting formats that startups and large corporations have used to bring colleagues together in new and refreshing ways. If you want to treat your team to a dash of the unexpected, give one of these meetings a try!
With the popularity of standing desks and on-site gyms, it is clear that creative professionals and companies prize fitness and physical activity. Incorporating exercise into routine activities has been proven to increase creativity.
Walking meetings are a part of this trend. Instead of sitting in a conference room or office, many teams have found that moving their muscles, getting their hearts pumping, getting fresh air and experiencing a change of scenery can be more fun and productive. Harvard Business Review has some best practices for walking meetings.
If everyone in your group is up for breaking a sweat, you might try a meeting that entails additional physical activity.
In Fast Company, Stephanie Vozza shares unusual meeting formats from twelve cutting-edge companies. For example, Genera Games, holds meetings on the basketball court. Such a meeting can drive nimble thinking, allow players to indulge their competitive streaks, and, in the case of Genera, helps put employees in the mindset of the mobile gamers who use their products.
At Plum Organics, team members are encouraged to hit the books – coloring books. As they meet and discuss business matters, they engage “right-brained” thought by using paper, colored pencils, and crayons to jog neurons that aren’t often in play in such settings.
According to Innovation Director Jen Brush, as featured in Vozza’s piece, an activity such as coloring promotes active listening, an important workplace skill that suffers when employees are “multitasking on something like email.”
Brush holds coloring meetings every Thursday and says they have been an important factor in developing new products.
Another example in Vozza’s article is Darrell Ghert, a VP at the Inqusium division of Cvent. In the past, the quality of Ghert’s meetings suffered from chronic lateness – some team members consistently showed up ten minutes behind schedule. This problem was a stubborn fixture of the office culture, not something he could fix by making threats.
Rather than getting frustrated, Ghert came up with a fun idea to help team members modify their behavior. Anyone who is late to one of his meetings is now required to sing. “We’ve heard the national anthem, happy birthday, and nursery rhymes,” he says. However, these performances have become more rare, as almost everyone now shows up on time.
This sort of gamification is a step beyond the traditional rewards and demerits of the workplace – it is a system that improves processes while also itself serving as an example of creative thinking and problem-solving.
At Artisan Creative, we are deeply engaged with the changing culture of the workplace and want to help our world-class creative talent and clients do their best work, take advantage of new opportunities, and mine crucial insights that can change the world. Contact us today to learn more.
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