You will attend many types of meetings this year. Some require presentations, research and metrics to be deemed a worth wile exercise. Creative Meetings are different, a new type of face-to-face collaboration, a catalyst for new ideas.
Creative meetings can be the start of a new project, idea or incoming business relationship. First, let’s take a second to breakdown a creative meeting. A creative meeting isn’t a run-of-the-mill company exercise , it includes hands-on problem solving and new types of thinking. A creative meeting is meant for everyone to participate and discover. There are no wrong answers or “No’s” welcome at the table. Idea killers such as budget, timeframe, and execution are saved for a later discussion. The creative meeting is always the first step in our process at Mobile First.
When planning a creative meeting, the environment will effect the level of participation and tone during the exercise. Choosing the right place for a creative meeting will be based on a few factors. How many people will attend? What tools will be available? Formal or casual? Sitting or standing? How long?
These are questions you will want to ask yourself when choosing a space for a creative meeting. Find a room with inspiration but not distraction. The tools available during a creative meeting will set the stage for how collaboration happens. Provide at least one form of digital and one form of analog communication. A projector and whiteboard are common and very effective when working with more than two people.
Creatively Approaching Challenges
A creative meeting can serve many purposes. Creativity is the best way to solve a problem or overcome a challenge. After all, the goal of starting a new business is to overcome challenges that exist in your market.
Approaching your project goals as challenges will unite your team and give a hands-on perspective to your project. Creatively approaching challenges is a proven method for progressing goals. Before your meeting takes place, take some time to understand immediate and long term project goals and potential challenges that may arise. In order to get hands-on with project challenges, begin to pose a set of open ended “challenge questions”. Asking challenge questions ensures that the meeting’s focus is geared toward finding new ideas, answers and solutions. Here are some example challenge questions when building a new app: What platforms will give us access to the market? How will users sign up for our app? How can we monetize the app with the least amount of friction? Write or illustrate your prompts boldly and clearly somewhere that is in view to everyone in the room. Now comes the fun part, coming up with the ideas. Generating great ideas is much more than just brainstorming. During this step of the process, be conscious of new, out-of-the-box thinking. Make connections, take risks, and try new combinations to find workable solutions. During this process, keep everyone on the same page. Use the tools you have access to; illustrate your ideas on a whiteboard, show existing examples on the projector, explain possible use-cases, compare your solutions visually. Part of a successful creative meeting is collaborative feedback; make sure everyone in the room has a chance to ask questions and provide their unique perspective.
It’s just the Beginning
A creative meeting is just the beginning of a well planned project. The meeting should serve as the spark for the fire. Everyone should walk out with new ideas, opinions and fuel for moving forward. Now it’s time to plan for action.
After a creative meeting takes place; ideas and solutions need to be assessed. Assessing ideas brought to the table during a creative meeting can be difficult and will take a lot of thought and balance. Strengthen, improve and compare the best ideas generated during the session.We find it best to assess ideas after the creative meeting has taken place. Factors like budget, timeframe and execution can now be worked in to the assessment without hindering creative flow.
As you prep your schedules for the new year, approach your projects with a creative and collaborative angle. Use this as a guide not only for creative meetings to come, but as an example of how to interact with colleagues and clients in any setting. And remember, a creative meeting is just beginning of a well planned project.