Last week we held one of our New Product Development meetings, meant to present new business ideas and discuss their viability. To pump up the level of creativity in meetings, we like to add a theme to them. The theme for this meeting was chewing gum. I know, odd right? But trust me, once we started with it, it stuck.
Before the day of our meeting, our graphic design department created and sent out invitations to all our employees. These invitations were personalized with BizXcel gum called "The Gum of Business." On the day of the meeting, we continued the theme with our rules for discussion. These rules were meant to not only keep the meeting on track, but to make everyone feel comfortable with sharing their ideas in an open environment free of overt criticism. The rules were:
1. Chomp into discussions openly and honestly.
The purpose of this rule was to ensure we had each person's full views and opinions. If someone thought there might be a better way to do something, then we wanted to hear it.
2. Give everyone an opportunity to chew their thoughts.
This rule gave everyone the chance to speak their minds and prevented any one person from dominating the meeting.
3. Blow the lid off ideas.
We wanted people to think outside the box (or the wrapper). This rule provoked people to think beyond the every day.
4. Unwrap issues.
We did not want anyone leaving the meeting with thoughts or feelings that had not been communicated. This rule ensured that possible issues were discussed before the close of the meeting.
These rules carried our meeting to highly successful results. Everyone was able to openly express themselves and their ideas. Creativity and innovation were achieved through teamwork. Why not try implementing these rules in your next meeting? You're sure to achieve sweet results.
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