How to Get Your Team Involved in Making Business Improvements

Your Manager’s Moment: Brain Storming with Your Team

Thinking outside the boxI’m sure most of you have heard “You’ve got to think outside the box!” throughout your career.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear that – I can actually see a box surrounding me and it feels confining, almost claustrophobic, and I have a difficult time getting out of my head and allowing my creativity to flow. So, I prefer to encourage others to think BIG and then even BIGGER – and I never mention “the box.”

One way to get your team involved in making improvements to your business is to have regular planning / brainstorming sessions.

One very effective method is to do silent brainstorming so no one is intimidated by their peers and they can really allow themselves to step up and be bold. To do this, explain that everyone will write one idea on each sticky note in silence.

As your team writes, go around the room and pick up the slips. Then once everyone has stopped writing, start reading each slip out loud to the group and placing the sticky on a flip chart or the wall.

You will see your team get another idea once someone else’s idea is read and there will be more sticky notes to collect. Unless an idea needs to be explained, chatter should be minimal. Remember, there are no bad ideas even though some are better than others.

Then, ask the team to come up to the flipchart and arrange each sticky note in a column of similar ideas which will later be grouped under major topics such as training, hiring, capital investment, quality improvement, etc.

The next step is for the facilitator (most likely you) to look at each column and if it appears there are duplicates, read each of them aloud to the group to see if there is agreement that one can be tossed. The owner of the slip might have meant something very different so it’s important to check in before assuming anything.

Now that you have the team’s best ideas, you will get to decide how to create goals to accomplish your strategic plan! You have a much better chance of building a business that everyone wants to work for when they have ownership and know that you respect their input.

Share below how you have used a similar brain-storming exercise when bringing your team into the process!

Business Leadership, Business Management, Team Management
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