Hackathons are intense brainstorming sessions that generally last for 24 to 48 hours — and sometimes even longer. They demand a lot of time, a lot of stamina and a lot of sugar. There are easier ways to get your company’s creative juices flowing. Case in point: Idea Day at Jesta I.S.
Jesta’s inaugural Idea Day was on August 29, 2019. Invitations were extended to all employees weeks in advance inviting them to share raw, unfiltered ideas for new product features or improvements. Ideas could be big or small, presentations could be long or short, participants could go at it solo or with a partner.
Like all great brainstorming sessions, Jesta’s Idea Day disrupted the 9-to-5 routine and included plenty of (healthy!) brain food. Awards are known to encourage a competitive spirit and also recognize the extra effort employees are contributing to an event. All Idea Day presenters were entered to win a $200 gift card.
The result? Success, of course! Idea Day united colleagues that don’t normally interact together for an afternoon of collaboration and uncensored sharing. Most importantly, each of the inaugural presenters lay the groundwork for future Idea Day leaders and innovations that could very well shake up any business.
Does your company host brainstorming events to encourage leadership and innovation? If you’d like to get started, here are three takeaways from our very own Idea Day, Edition One.
Nobody likes limitations and restrictions are, in fact, completely contrary to the idea of Idea Day. To build an inspired community that feels valued, champion the expression “There’s no such thing as a bad idea!” It’s perhaps the only true “rule” of brainstorming.
Encourage humor during brainstorming sessions. Studies have shown that laughter and a positive mood activate the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex, the part that’s involved in regulating attention and solving problems. Better still? Include fun perks like feel-good snacks.
Pushing employees to push the envelope isn’t always easy. Plus, we all know how some people feel about presenting in front of people. Celebrate each and every one of your company’s risk takers and reward at least one (or more, depending on your budget!) with a prize that’s truly beneficial.
Long to-do lists often make innovation feel impossible, but even small changes can inspire and motivate others. Events like Idea Days are a great start, but remember: inspiration doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Encourage your employees to partner up, go outside, and feed their minds with creativity each and every day.
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