shower ideas, creating more creative meetings

According to cognitive scientist, Scott Barry Kaufman’s “Wired to Create” study – 72% of people get their most creative ideas in the shower. Kaufman’s findings stress the importance of relaxation for creative thinking. Pharrell Williams, producer extraordinaire and ABC’s The Voice host agrees, admitting to Oprah in a 2014 interview that his greatest hits come to mind in the shower.

As a corporate executive, how can you encourage your employees to bring their best shower ideas into the office?

First, what makes showers a formula for creative success?

  • Solitude – judgment-free zone
  • Focus – no digital distractions
  • Sensory deprivation – sounds outside of a shower are muffled
  • Happiness – there’s nothing like a hot shower after a long day or good night’s sleep

How can we replicate the creative and strategic genius that occurs in showers, in our meetings?

  1. Lead an impromptu brainstorming session and then ask your team to develop those ideas throughout the week.
  2. Ask employees to bring 3 ideas to your next strategic team meeting.
  3. Provide a meeting agenda ahead of time.
  4. Set a goal and take all the actions necessary to complete that goal in a team meeting.
  5. Make a team member responsible for naming a meeting objective.
  6. Delegate more; do you really need to use the entire team’s time to solve one problem?
  7. Scrap a traditional meeting and ask for ½ page proposals from each team member, then make a decision. If several proposals sound amazing, ask the writers to collaborate on their own for the ultimate solution.
  8. Spend less time organizing meetings and more time mentoring staff.
  9. Make brainstorming sessions feel more comfortable by providing healthy snacks.
  10. Hold standing meetings whenever possible to encourage short and direct responses.  Staff may inherit a greater sense of intention in preparation for this style of meeting.
  11. When appropriate, allow staff to have longer periods of thinking without interruption. Schedule 2 times during the course of the day for staff to check and respond to emails; limit constant checking.

Creativity has a place in strategy, development, sales, marketing and even IT. Every workplace department can benefit from added creativity and diversity in ideas being brought to the table.

What helps your team beef up on creativity and strategic ideas?

Want to hear more about team  and leadership? Hire Art as a speaker for your next event or as an executive mentor.

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Art Jackson, Professional Speaker, Executive Coach

Art Jackson

Art Jackson is a professional speaker and executive coach. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills.

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