I read an article this week on the Fast Company website focused on how to brainstorm effectively when working remotely (titled “3 must-haves to collaborate and brainstorm when your team all works remotely”). It’s was written by Sagi Eliyahu, the CEO of Tonkean.
So much of what he highlighted as important for teams to be able to collaborate and brainstorm at a high level while working remotely resonated with us and the work we do with teams through our applied improv sessions. We’re constantly focusing on increasing collaboration and building stronger teams, ideation templates and how to brainstorm more effectively, super-charging the creativity and innovation within organizations (and now we're doing virtual team building workshops).
We’ve been starting to work with teams that have shifted to exclusively being remote teams, who no longer connect in-person regularly. As Eliyahu wrote, “many of us took for granted just how many ideas were cooked up back when we enjoyed the luxury of working together, in person.”
For many leaders and their teams, I’m guessing it’s been interesting for them to see the differences in collaborating, brainstorming, ideation, communication and productivity between a group that physically works together in a shared space every day, compared to that same team being fully remote.
Eliyahu asserts that, “A lot of the work that gets done—certainly more than we realized—requires direct human collaboration that includes decision-making, delegation, coordination, and strategy. And much of the progress we make in that work, the leaps in innovation, the light-bulb moments, happens without us consciously planning for it.”
Agreed with the above, but we’re finding connectivity and all the good stuff that flowed from being in the same space can still be a part of a team’s output when connecting virtually. It’s all about setting up for success when it comes to collaborating at a high level….whether you’re sitting at the same table, or hopping on a Zoom call. It’s still all about connecting people, as we highlight during the improv-based team building sessions we do with our clients that feature templates for collaborating and brainstorming as a group.
Here are a few tips for brainstorming when working remotely from the article:
Platforms and Technology Don’t be overly rigid on the application(s) that people have to use. Provide a choice and let them connect using the app platform that fits them best, rather than funneling them to a single work environment. Whatever works for people to stay connected.
Take Time to Make Time Actually schedule in time for ideation and brainstorming. It can be with an outside facilitator who sets it up and guides it, creating an environment to unleash ideas, give them life, build on them, see where it all goes…we do this with “Yes, and….” creating a culture where all ideas welcome, accepted and contributed to. Planning for it is a great way to reinforce and make it happen.
Follow up Track the data…track the ideas…record the brainstorming and follow up with everyone. Show them there is a process, actions attached to their ideas and value in the sessions.
It is entirely possible to create a culture of hyper ideation, exciting collaborations and real support amongst a group that is working remotely.
You can read the entire article here on How To Brainstorm Effectively When Working Remotely
Virtual Team Building Options with Improv to Improve
Connect with us to find out more about our virtual team building workshops. We can start off one of your scheduled virtual meetings, doing a collaboration and brainstorming focused session customized specifically to your team.
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