Bread, Ham, Bucket

Some time ago I was part of a small team working with a company who had asked for help to make their annual conference more inspiring and memorable.

So we worked with each of their staff presenters, helping them to become as interesting and engaging as possible.  We encouraged the speakers to move their presentations to their colleagues away from just dry fact, and to make them much more of a story.  We also challenged them to stop relying on PowerPoint slides, and instead find other ways of illustrating their information.  We didn’t manage to completely banish PowerPoint from the day, but there were far, far fewer bullet points than your average conference, and considerably more in the way of imaginative visual aids.

And then, the day before we went live, I got an urgent request from the Finance department.   Could they steal fifteen minutes in the traditionally “dead” slot after lunch to go through the new invoicing system, because people had been making a lot of mistakes and payments were getting held up?  Sure, I said, but you have to accept the same challenge as everyone else – no PowerPoint.  To my great delight, they grabbed the opportunity, and came up with something truly wonderful.  And so on the day, they awed the entire company by demonstrating this new invoicing process using bread, slices of ham, and buckets! 

I can’t remember now exactly how they managed to map the process onto this sandwich-and-bucket model, but it was a huge talking point of the day, it got a load of laughs from the floor, and it certainly woke everyone up after lunch.  And even more important, it was extremely effective – it was totally memorable, and from that day on no-one ever got the invoicing wrong. 

My point – why does Important necessarily have to mean Joyless?  Do Business and Fun need to be mutually exclusive? 

And my call to action – what can you do to bring creativity to your workplace?  Would you like to find different ways to bring Engagement to your staff?  Contact me and Let’s Talk about it.