Edward Glassman : Beef Up Creativity in Regular Meetings
Beef Up Creativity in Regular Meetings
(Turn Them Upside Down)
By Edward Glassman, PhD
A TRUE STORY: An R&D manager of a large Fortune-500 company told me that he asks his team members to spend 10 to 15 minutes of every meeting quietly writing ideas to solve an important problem on 3x5 index cards, one idea per card so he can sort the ideas he gets. He says it provides him with valuable ideas and it keeps applied creative thinking techniques in everyone's mind...
Creative thinking during meetings counts. Use advanced creativity techniques (see my recent book) during regular meetings of your team. Form small, 3-4 person creativity groups at least once in every meeting so everyone looks forward to solving problems in meetings.
In addition, ask people to reverse the problem statement "How to stimulate creative thinking during our meetings" and non-evaluatively list ideas on "How to spoil creative thinking during our meetings." This list often reflects what you all usually do in meetings. Then dereverse each spoiler and write "How to" in front of each idea and creatively smooth out each sentence into a sensible "How-to" problem statement.
For example, you could dereverse the creativity spoiler, "Have domineering people present" into "How to stay creative with domineering people present" or into "How to keep domineering people out."
Reverse another creativity spoiler, "Hold meetings at 4:45 on Friday" into "How to stay creative in a meeting held at 4:45 on Friday" or "How to avoid calling a meeting at this time."
You will soon have many problem statements focusing on specific needs of your work group. Form groups of three or four people and non-evaluatively list solutions to the problem statements that impact you all the most during your meetings. Or ask individuals to write ideas on index cards, one idea per card, so you can sort the ideas you get. You all know best what spoils creative thinking during your meetings.
Creativity Spoilers in Meetings
The following summarizes what some experts say spoils creative thinking during meetings.
Increase Creative Thinking During Meetings
Help creative thinking flourish during meetings:
© 2010 by Edward Glassman. All rights reserved.
Edward Glassman, PhD was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he headed the Program For Team Effectiveness And Creativity. More »