Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 24 2014

How To Unleash Your Team’s Creativity

By David McMillin

You’re ready to completely rethink your meeting. You’re hoping to revamp the experience. You sit down, ready to put every crazy idea on the table. There’s just one problem: none of those ideas ever actually make it out of your mouth.

What’s the issue? Josh Linkner, bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur, believes that everyone is inherently creative, but our worries and insecurities are holding us back.

“Brainstorming is good, but fear gets in the way,” Linkner told attendees at the 2014 PCMA Education Conference in Toronto.

While meeting professionals are on a seemingly endless journey to embrace innovation, the level of creativity at internal team meetings is dragged down by an inability to overcome that fear. Linkner offers a simple solution that he has used while working with executives: role-storming.

“Role-storming is brainstorming in character,” Linkner said. “Brainstorm as if you’re someone else, and you can say anything you want without fear.”

SEE ALSO: The Mindset That Will Redefine Your Success

Sure, you’ve heard the cliché term of “thinking outside the box.” Forget thinking outside some imaginary box. Linkner’s role-storming process lets you approach your work with an entirely new perspective that can be hilarious (one of Linkner’s past role-storming clients actually decided to brainstorm as Yoda from Star Wars), and more importantly, productive. From Steve Jobs to President Obama to Mick Jagger, role-storming gives you an opportunity to develop solutions in a more relaxed fashion. Creating that level of ease is an essential ingredient of channeling your inner innovative spirit.

“Letting our creativity shine is what allows us to win in today’s challenging environment,” Linkner said.

For meeting professionals, getting too creative can come with plenty of concerns. What will your boss say if you challenge a process? What will your colleagues think if your opinion seems insane? How will loyal attendees react if you get rid of a portion of the program they expect to see year after year?

Linkner believes it’s time for everyone to lay those questions to rest.

“So many companies live their lives trying to play it safe,” Linkner said. “It’s turns out that playing it safe is the riskiest move of all.”

Missed out on PCMA’s Education Conference in Toronto? Click here to save 40 percent on the OnDemand Rewind package and catch up on all the latest trends and issues impacting your peers around the industry.

Learn more form Linkner with his new book, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation.

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