Get creative to get the best out of people

Creativity plays a key part in business success.

It’s the extra spark that ignites passion. It’s the touch of originality that kick-starts a great idea. And it’s the dash of flair that drives performance.

We naturally expect to find creativity in design studios, architectural practices, media agencies and other companies that make a living out of being visually imaginative and inventive. But can you find the same level of creativity at the widget manufacturer, or the waste management company, or 100s of other organisations that are not so obviously ‘creative’ on the surface?

The answer is yes, yes and yes!

Creativity in the workplace

Rule #1. Creativity is not limited to the products and services provided by a company.

Creativity comes from the people that make up that company – and especially their way of applying imaginative thinking for solving a problem, introducing a new system, or developing a new product.

The best way to unearth a rich vein of new and varying ideas is to involve a group of people in the creative process. Great things come from teamwork, and when the team is fully engaged and energised you can expect the best performance.

A creative brainstorming session is a great way to get the creative juices flowing – and the more you can coax out of your attendees, the more chance you’ll have of achieving the results you’re looking for.

Here’s a quick check list to help you plan a successful brainstorming session:

The Purpose

Decide what you want to achieve from your brainstorming session and establish what you will do with the outcomes.

The Preparation

  • Plan in advance – write down your goals and a clear plan of action
  • Invite the right kind of people – giving them plenty of notice and briefing them well
  • Choose the right location and plan the layout carefully – allowing plenty of room for thinking and team tables
  • Choose the right facilitator (a qualified, engaging and controlled individual)
  • Decide on the materials needed (for the facilitator and the attendees)
  • Plan the agenda – making time for activity break-outs, workshops and refreshment breaks
  • Establish a focal point (whiteboard, easel)
  • Dress the walls with inspirational key messages and visual references for stimulating ideation
  • Implement an effective way to capture ideas and record information
  • Formalise a structure for your session and test it with colleagues

The Programme

  • Start with an ice-breaker to put everyone at ease
  • Establish rules in a clear and friendly way to ensure everyone knows what to do
  • Put systems into place to stay on topic and keep up a good pace
  • There is no such thing as a bad idea, so ensure everyone feels comfortable and confident of putting forward their thoughts
  • Encourage laughter, fun and positive energy
  • Invite attendees/teams to present their own ideas
  • Get everyone to comment on the ideas generated – and even invite them to vote for the best ones

Post-Brainstorm Actions

  • Collate all captured ideas and recorded information
  • Follow-up the brainstorming session with an overview of the event, ideas captured and actions for going forward

Recommended Materials

  • Inspirational Posters to adorn the walls – LAMINATE to protect them
  • Name Badges/Team Badges – use a TRIMMER to cut out your creative designs, think creatively!
  • Table Cards – use a TRIMMER to cut out your creative designs, think creatively!
  • Personalised Brainstorming Book for each attendee (including agenda, goals, break-out worksheets and plenty of blank pages for notes and ideas – all wipe clean) – use a BINDER to create your books
  • Activity Cards for tacking to the walls. LAMINATING ensures they can be easily wiped clean for updating during the session’
  • Report to outline follow-up actions – LAMINATE the cover and use a BINDER to keep all the content together
  • Certificates for recognising the best ideas of the day. LAMINATE them for the ‘professional touch’

For more information on binders, laminators and trimmers visit fellowes.com or visit your local office products supplier and ask for Fellowes products by name.

For creative inspiration visit Fellowes Ideas Centre

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