Recently, our team participated in a songwriting/team-building program with a Fortune 500, Financial Services Company. We were very excited to be working with a new group of driven, talented individuals.On this day, we were part of a full-days “technical” training. We were the “Grand Finale”-Non-industry related part of the program. We were there to shake things up, and help shift the thought processes of those in the room from their normal, linear thinking norms.
We were challenged to work in a room, where the layout was, well let’s say not ideal so as to encourage collaboration. A primary goal with our programs! Set up class-room style with long, thin rectangular tables. All attendees were facing forward. Nearly all had laptops in front of them, rather than the round tables we typically prefer. So, what did we do?
Well, we “re-arranged the chairs on the Titantic!” We shut down the lap-tops. We asked those in attendance to move the tables around. Rather than row upon row of faces turned towards “us” at the “front” of the room, we NOW had 4 “pods” or “Squares” of attendees facing each other. Eye contact. Everyone was now able to see lips moving when a colleague was speaking…contributing to the conversation.
NOW, we were set to work together in individual teams, and as a collective whole. And everyone chipped in. Beautiful.
So, what can you do within the “walls” and WITH the walls of your organization to better promote innovation through collaboration?
- Are there actual physical barriers which you as leadership can consider “bringing down?”
- Are there systemic barriers, or parameters that might be easier to change than you think?
- Conversely, are there systemic barriers or policies, which despite how difficult change may appear to be…STILL need to change?
- What can you do right now? Within 3 months…6 months…12 months to better assure that all voices at the table have a say in creating and/or finding solutions?
Let’s think about it….Then, let’s do something about it.