Offices set up processes to make things simpler and easier, but too often, they end up becoming more of a time and energy drain than the problem they seek to address. Whether it’s daily mandatory meetings or schedules that don’t work across different teams, things need to change.
Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin — cofounders of a creative leadership training lab, Swim — stress on the need to ‘un-process’ the current, broken system, in an article at Fast Co.Create. Gather up your best and brightest and start them off with a 3-step questionnaire:
- What are the perceived benefits of the existing process?
- What are the actual negative outcomes of it?
- Are the costs outweighing the benefits?
Once you have the answers to those, give the team 10 minutes to come up with new solutions for the broken system, while keeping the goals in mind. Apparently, the short deadline forces people not to prematurely edit or over-think creative ideas, and quick collaboration means that no one throws up negatives.
“At Swim, we’ve yet to see even one group fail to have promising new ideas using this exercise. At the very least it’s a big first step in a better direction,” Vonk and Kestin say.