Occasionally, a problem at work is so big and important, that it warrants a problem-solving Creativity & Innovation Meeting involving people from many parts of the company. Here is an example of a Creativity & Innovation Meeting that made a big difference.
A Fortune-500 company asked me to lead a three-day problem-solving creativity meeting on how to improve the ‘quality’ of output at work. This event took place in a beach resort during off-season. The participants included 35 managers and supervisors in manufacturing and R&D from a large plant of this company.
I customized the design of this event to coincide with their goals for the meeting making sure to preserve its potential for success.
Their meeting goals included:
• Each person will develop new perspectives and new ideas to help solve their own work related problems on ‘quality.’
• Each person will develop a personal proposal to improve his or her own ‘quality’ at work.
Each person will use and teach advanced techniques at work and solve problems more creatively (shift paradigms and define problems creatively, generate ideas super abundantly, and combine ideas into trigger-proposals and workable solutions).
The meeting consisted of six sessions.
First session: We formed creative thinking teams, carried out advanced techniques to create a creative atmosphere, and started team building.
Second session: Selected participants gave short talks to teach everyone the elements of ’quality’ at work.
Third session: We carried out advanced techniques to define the problems these people had about ‘quality.’
Fourth session: We carried out advanced techniques to generate ideas abundantly to help solve the ‘quality’ problems of this plant site.
Fifth session: Each team helped solve work related ‘quality’ problems of each of its members using advanced creative thinking triggers learned earlier during this meeting.
Sixth session: Each person wrote a one-page proposal to solve their own problems about ‘quality’ and received feedback from their team to improve and upgrade the proposal. Each person then developed and shared their personal action plans to improve the ‘quality’ of their work output.
Excellent outcomes appeared. Each person left with personal action plans to improve quality in their work and to help other people in the company improve quality too. Outstanding.
And for additional ways to solve problems creatively at work, check out my book: “CREATIVITY TRIGGERS ARE FOR EVERYONE:
How To Use Your Inventiveness To Brighten Your Life.”
©2017 by Ed Glassman
ABOUT THIS AUTHOR
Ed Glassman, Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founded the Program For Team Excellence And Creativity at the university.
He was a ‘Guggenheim Foundation Fellow’ at Stanford University, a ‘Visiting Fellow’ at the ‘Center For Creative Leadership’ in Greensboro, NC, a Visiting Professor at the University Of California at Irvine, and a Visiting Scientist at SRI International in Palo Alto, California.
He was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and has led numerous Creativity & Innovation Meetings and workshops for many companies, including IBM, DuPont, Amoco Chemical, Ciba-Geigy, Hoechst-Celanese, Texaco, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Milliken, Federal-Mogul, Thetford, Standard Products, and others.