Helping innovation leaders get awesome results  

      You are here:   CreativeJeffrey.com  :  Articles  :  Ten Crazy Things to Do with Your Company This Month


Search this site  


 

Cartoon: hire a child consultant

Ten Crazy Things to Do with Your Company This Month

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

If you want your organisation to be more innovative, your people need to be in the habit of thinking creatively. A great way to do that is to do crazy things from time to time. Here are ten suggestions for your company, business unit or team.

1. Rearrange your office by moving people around randomly

Rearrange the physical organisation of your office by moving people around in some totally random manner. Rather than leave accounting people together with other accounting people; sales people with sales people; operational people with operational people and so on, mix people up so that an accountant might have her desk next to a saleswoman and a logistics specialist might have his desk next to a research scientist. Better still rearrange the physical organisation every quarter or so. While this will result in some communication inefficiency – people in the same division do, after all, often need to work together – it will certainly bring about more varied internal networking and breed new ideas as people from different departments work together, get to know each other and share ideas.

2. Hold staff meetings in unusual locations

Cartoon: meeting in a treeHold staff meetings in unusual and varied locations. Why must you always have staff meetings in your boring meeting rooms? Why not hold them in a public library, a nearby park, a children's playground, a pub, in a swimming pool, or any other location that is distinctly unbusinesslike? The unfamiliar surroundings will surely inspire people. To make the unusual locations more effective, tie them into the meeting somehow. If your company is having financial difficulties, hold a meeting in a swimming pool and discuss the importance of remaining afloat financially.

3. Put a totally inexperienced person in charge of a project

Put a person with no relevant experience in charge of a project. Need to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of a new product concept? Why have a marketing person to do it when an engineer can do it completely differently? Admittedly, the engineer will probably not produce a typical SWOT analysis – and might even miss a few key issues a marketing expert would automatically see. But an engineer would almost certainly take a different approach and look at the problem in a different way than the experienced marketer would. And looking at a problem from a different perspective is certain to produce different, creative solutions.

4. Run a competition to come up with the craziest idea for a crazy challenge and let the winner do it

 Run an competition to come up with the craziest idea for a crazy challenge. For example, if you manufacture and sell plumbing supplies, ask for ideas for the craziest Valentines Day packaging for one of your products. Provide the winner(s) with Euro 10,000 (approx: US$13,000) to actually fund their idea. Sure, the project may fail. But the winners will gain more than Euro 10,000 worth of training and discover a lot of great ideas along the way. Moreover, crazy ideas work more often than you might think – and the result could be a substantial return on your Euro 10,000 investment.

5. Ban e-mail and telephone use for internal communications for a day

Ban e-mail and telephone use for internal communications for a day. Force people to get up and visit each other to discuss ideas. Moving around shakes up the brain cells and helps people think more clearly. Face to face conversations are usually in more depth than e-mail or telephone conversations. Physically walking across the office to talk to one person often results in meeting and speaking with several other people along the way; people who can bring new ideas to old problems and issues.

6. Apply a curious metaphor for the day

Come up with a running theme for the day, such as “cats” or “drinks” or “baking a cake” and apply the theme as a metaphor everywhere possible. For example, you select “baking a cake” as your theme for the day. Every project that day should then somehow tie into baking a cake. The sales people preparing a presentation should base it around the theme of baking a cake. The R&D people developing a prototype for a new product should think about baking cakes while brainstorming ideas for the prototype. And so on.

7. Get an eight year old child to act as a consultant for a day

Get an eight year old child to act as a consultant for a day. Set up meetings with the child and various business units. Ask the child for advice on problems and on-going projects. Ask managers to report on the child's advice and what they can learn from it. If the answer is "nothing", then managers should explain why. While the child's advice may lack the weight of experience of a seasoned professional, its comparative na´vety will doubtless be inspirational and lead to new ideas that an experienced professional would be blind to.

8. Use toys instead of PowerPoint slides

For one week, use toys instead of PowerPoint slides as a presentation tool. For example, if you have to present your ideas on a new product launch, use a big box of Lego or building blocks as your presentation tool. It will force you to think about how you present data visually and will certainly capture the attention of participants in the meeting.

9. Ask, “How would Winnie the Pooh solve this problem?"

Ask, “How would Winnie the Pooh [or George Washington or Queen Elizabeth I or Tintin or Jesus or whomever] tackle this problem” about all problems for a week. For example, if you are preparing a project proposal for a client, ask yourself: “How would Winnie-the-Pooh prepare and deliver this proposal?"

10. Everyone walks, bicycles or takes public transportation to work.

Insist, or at least actively encourage, that everyone walk, bicycle or take public transportation to work. Not only is this great for the environment, it is also good for the collective mind of your employees. If they are not driving to work, they can read, think, make notes and take more time to notice and be inspired by the scenery as they go to work.

What about your company? What kind of crazy things have you done – or would you like to do – with your company to inspire new ways of thinking? Tell me about them, please

 

Fancy Doing Some Crazy Stuff with Your Company, Division or Team?

Jeffrey Baumgartner leading anticonventional thinking workshop in Faro, Portugal

Would you like to start doing some crazy, creativity-inspiring things in your organisation? If so, I can help, either by advising you or by giving an inspiring talk or seminar on the subject. Contact me and let's discuss what we can do!

R103/20170103/20050315

Want to Discuss This Article With Me?

Want to discuss this article further? If so, get in touch. I'd love to chat about it with you!



If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your followers:


Share Facebook Twitter Google LinkedIn Pintarest StumbleUpon Email     Follow me Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter    






More Articles



Open Innovation Revisited
Open innovation was all the rage a few years ago, now it seems out of fashion? But is it? Not necessarily says Jeffrey Baumgartner -- Read the article...




No Time for Innovation? Think Again!
Employees claim they have no time for innovation. That's not true. Rather, they do not believe innovation is a true priority. -- Read the article...




How to Make Innovative Change Work For You
Innovation leads to change and people often do not like that. Giving them a stake in the innovation works wonders. -- Read the article...




Four Types of Ideas, Their Values and the IIPI
Categorise ideas to these four types and use the innovation initiative performance indicator (IIPI) to innovate better and measure results. -- Read the article...




If Innovation Is Going Out of Style, Why Innovate
The innovation trend is passing. You've got too much work to do already. Why bother innovating? Allow me to explain. -- Read the article...




Seven Ways to Sell Ideas to Decision Makers
In large organisations, selling innovative ideas to decision makers can be challenging. Here are seven approaches you can use -- Read the article...


More articles...

 


 

Subscribe to Report 103 & get articles like these in your email every Wednesday

Your email

 


Share Facebook Twitter Google LinkedIn Pintarest StumbleUpon Email     Follow me Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Twitter    

 

Creative Jeffrey logo

Jeffrey Baumgartner
Bwiti bvba

Erps-Kwerps (near Leuven & Brussels) Belgium