Today I was able to attend a meeting with my creative team brainstorming ideas to make one of our conventions impactful for the physicians who will be attending, while helping to grow our business. I loved the vibe…we were all standing amongst an open, collaboration space; bringing ideas to the table; laughing and being serious all at the same time. I was reminded of the good that can come when you allow boundaries to drop, don’t bring a perceived right answer to the table, and allow for freedom of thought and discussion. It reminded me of a quote from a great book I read earlier this year and am thinking that I need to go back to study again: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.
“Frank talk, spirited debate, laughter, and love. If I could distill a Braintrust meeting down to its most essential ingredients, those four things would surely be among them.” – Ed Catmull
Catmull uses this book to share the lessons he learned as the co-founder of Pixar as they grew from an idea to a widely successful movie studio. He is passing on great advice to those of us who want to bring creativity into business every day. These Braintrust meetings were a gathering of most talented minds at Pixar that reviewed projects and ideas to help make them successful. What I love about this quote, and what I felt today in my meeting was the collective group of brains that were coming together to make something better. What made this stand out is that so often I feel like within my marketing team individuals feel like their idea is the best idea. They have a lack of willingness to share their idea for fear of it being taken, critiqued, or worst-case shelved. Todays meeting, and the fundamental premise of the Braintrust concept, is that ideas flourish with discussion, debate and commitment from individuals to deliver excellent work. So, a commitment for the week. Build a culture on my team that encourages creativity through discussion. Help people learn to realize the strength in sharing their ideas so that the ideas become better.