Laughter can be the key to an open mind and a permissive mood, that is in favour of new ideas.
The primary purpose of a creative meeting is to design the best possible environment to solve problems and to come up with new solutions. In order to solve complex problems, we may need to gain new perspectives, be open to new solutions and see things from a new perspective. A creative meeting can also bring additional value, such as recognising new sides of each other, trying out new ways to collaborate and having fun together.
Plan your meeting
A creative meeting requires creative planning, and as a meeting leader it is essential to understand that a creative meeting is an open process that to some extent, needs to be handled on-site. We would recommend you to enable, already in the preparations, for work in small groups of 3-6 people so that everyone can have a say.
Set up rules
In a creative meeting, you need to balance the feeling of security with a challenge. In order to create a safe environment, it is important to start by explaining the purpose, structure and rules of the meeting – for example when there is a break, what kind of process and methods you will work with, etc. Clarify which elements require free-thinking and instruct the participants that the process should be seen as a game where you together will find out where the path leads. Furthermore, make sure that everyone contributes to the permissive atmosphere in the room. One way of doing this is by introducing a yes-saying exercise.
Think about the setting
Create a permissive atmosphere by adding something unexpected to the room. Music, tablecloths on the tables, a projected aquarium or fireplace can give the participants associations that enable new perspectives. Try to furnish the room so that everyone in the group has eye contact. Optimal are round tables where everyone located equally.
Use your body
To have something physical to meet around and work with is to recommend – we are usually more open to new ideas when the body are involved in the process. This could be materials that everyone can draw on, plastic figures that symbolise different perspectives or users, tasks that must be solved together, clay to shape, Lego, etc.
Challange with caution
An easy way to challenge the participants is to plan for a conventional meeting but with creative breaks. Why not let the participants build their own cupcakes or perform a short stretching exercise together. Use Storms library of creative breaks as an inspiration!