Create a Think Tank

What can these old guys have in common with your team? This photo is of The Inklings? This group consisted of some of the most famous writers, Tolkien, Williams, and Lewis all wrote novels while meeting in this group. When The Inklings got together they would read their latest works and offer feedback and insights to each other. Probably not the world’s first think tank but one of the greatest for sure!

But what does that have to do with your team? Empowerment. Choice. These are buzzwords that we’ve all been reading and learning about while navigating, leading, and managing the current workforce.

While millennials hate nothing more than to be called millennials they do want to be empowered and they do want to have choice.  Let’s be honest, we all want those things, so why not deliver them to your team?

An easy way to do that is to create a think tank out of your team!  Spend 20 minutes each week together as a team and brainstorm about a project. Don’t send the part-timers to do food prep, don’t leave the interns mucking the stalls, and don’t exclude the volunteers. Especially don’t let your staff tell you they’re too busy! Invite everyone on the team and present them with the problem. It doesn’t have to be your problem and it doesn’t even have to be a problem relevant to your department.

Here’s some source of problems:

  1. Reach out to fellow keepers and curators for training issues they need solved.
  2. Look at a behavioral problem within your department.
  3. Take on a time management challenge your team has.
  4. Tackle world peace.
  5. Ask your Facebook friends for suggestions?
  6. Is there an issue festering within your team?

Sit down with the team, present the problem, and round table the ideas, who knows you might find a way to world peace. Okay maybe not, but you will foster an atmosphere of problem solving, cooperation, innovation, and empowerment. You’ll encourage buy-in from those part-time, volunteer, and intern staff and remind your more senior staff that everyone’s ideas can be important.

Brainstorming and problem solving will benefit your team in the following ways:

  1. Create an atmosphere of problem solving
  2. Hone problem solving skills
  3. Allow you to identify weaknesses in your team.
  4. Create a sense of team and ownership.
  5. SOLVE PROBLEMS.
  6. Develop innovations.

Even if your think tank doesn’t turn out the next Tolkien or Lewis, you’ll build your team’s problem solving skills. You’ll be doing the equivalent of sending them to Middle Earth or Narnia. So fire up the think tank and start exploring the world of possibility.

Download your guide to creating a think tank here!

 

Think Tank Creation guide (48 downloads)

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