Keeping a creative crew on task isn’t an exact science – it takes a whole bunch of organization and ingenuity. At Posture, our weekly gathering of the entire creative team provided a chance to assess workload and task lists, but it eventually became dependent on a spreadsheet agenda and lost its sense of curiosity and imagination. Instead of inventing new ideas together, we found ourselves reporting on to-do lists.
We decided to take a step back from this routine and reevaluate if this was actually a good use of our time. And you know what? It was not, in fact, a good use of our time.
As a creative team grows, addressing workload and fostering creativity simultaneously becomes increasingly challenging. By reallocating time to one-on-one meetings and department huddles, we’re using everyone’s time more wisely and providing more focused attention on individual needs and project goals.
But what about a meeting for the sake of creativity?
The new and improved Creative Meeting now takes place once a month, but we’re confident that less frequency actually makes it a little more special and truly a time to be creative. After a deep dive into the needs of our workload, best practices for efficiency, and a lot of research on how to throw a stellar meeting, here are some of our findings that may be helpful for your next assembly:
- Keep it fresh – move the time and location
- Reboot your mind and body
- Create something
- Have an agenda and keep time
- Guide the discussion
Keep it fresh
Mix up the time and place of your meetings
There’s nothing more boring than predictability. Not all meetings need to be in a conference room and monthly meetings don’t need to occur at the same time every month. Mixing up the time and location of The Creative Meeting keeps us on our toes and leaves our crew feeling energized and inspired.
Reboot your mind and body
Start with a stretch and some movement
Our brains are not trained to go from emails and task lists into brainstorming and innovating at the flip of a switch. We have to nurture our creative brains and help them operate at their best. We kick off our meetings with some light stretches, which release stress-relieving endorphins that fight fatigue, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall mood. Bonus: stretching is known to improve your posture, something we care deeply about 😉
Use your hands to create something together
This was a big one for us. How can it be called The Creative Meeting if we’re not creating anything? While we create all day long for our clients, revisiting our roots and getting our hands dirty can be very refreshing. By dedicating a small chunk of time to hands-on activity, we’re able to remember the foundations of good design and how they can influence everything we do digitally. Even something as simple as writing or taking a minute to doodle is a chance to loosen up and tap into parts of your brain you may not access when clicking a mouse.
Stay on task
Make an agenda and keep time
We know all too well that it’s easy to go off on a tangent and lose track of time. An agenda with blocks of time for each section of the meeting will help respect everyone’s time. Meetings that run long and negatively impact other obligations are not sustainable across a team.
Organize the chaos
Share expectations ahead of time and guide the discussion
It’s important that everyone is heard and has a space where they speak freely. Share topics and homework items prior to your meeting so everyone can come prepared with something to offer. Designate a leader for your discussion who can navigate the conversation so everyone has a chance to participate.
Next time you find yourself zoning out in a group meeting, ask yourself if this is really a good use of your time, chances are others may feel the same and are too afraid to speak up. Don’t be afraid to initiate change, especially if it’s going to keep your team sharp and engaged. Here’s to more creative gatherings!