Sometimes the best ideas are generated in casual conversations. Let’s say you are pulling your team together and you want to talk about the culture and environment. You could use this engagement to check-in at a monthly meeting or to warm them up for a deeper conversation about team strategy.
Simplify and establish a topic/scenario and ask each person to complete the sentence with the first idea that pops into their brain.
Ask, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?”
Here are some examples of topics and possible responses:
- Think about our team’s annual off-site.
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we could walk away with a clear understanding of how our work intersects?
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we traveled to an interesting location and got to explore the city in between working?
- Think about our office.
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we had phone booths to talk in so we could have some privacy?
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a ping pong table?
- Think about how our team communicates.
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we understood what each person’s preferences are?
- Wouldn’t it be cool if we knew when each person was available to answer questions?
Divide the team into groups of 2-4 and let them brainstorm together as many ideas as they can in just 3 minutes. Consider, offering a reward to the team with the most ideas to encourage them to move fast and not evaluate the ideas as they go.
Then, collect the ideas. Group similar ones and have a debrief conversation:
- Which of the ideas is the most exciting?
- Which of these ideas might we implement?
- Which of these ideas spurs another idea for us to consider?
You can use this as a fun icebreaker or to generate ideas that will benefit the team culture and environment. You may even want to encourage them to get really creative such as: “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could read each other’s minds?” or “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a personal chef available for lunch?” These ideas may lead to “cool” ideas that are realistic.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are highly productive and positive. Learn about her Better Teams Model and Team Assessment here
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