I've attended dozens of classes both in college and in the corporate world that have offered many different ideas on how to motivate and lead. However, until you actually faced a live set of real employees, volunteers or individuals those ideas are just that...ideas. I wish I could say that everything I've learned in those classes work, but let's face it...like in most theory based classes they don't always hit the mark. But that's okay, because there isn't a silver bullet in the game of motivation or leadership. Our teams are made up of many diverse individuals who get motivated in very different ways. So like Mike Rowe, get ready to get dirty!
What I've found most successful in getting a team to march straight and march together is something you probably seen in a Kindergarten class. Hence today's title, Calories and Construction paper! I've found that a treat filled with calories - lunch, snacks, treats are all ways to get a team rocking! I tend to see the bigger junk foods get the best results, but current health trends should be considered. You know, the veggie tray or fruit platter should probably be mixed in occasionally. But in most cases you can't buy lunch and junk food each day so it's important to back up this trick with other more permanent displays.
That is where the construction paper comes in. What I've found is that the bigger display the bigger the impact. For example, during a six week ramp up to a system deployment we put on a full wall "Angry Birds" display whereas we knocked down each week's lessons. Now, I know what you're thinking, adults, professionals would react to such a childish display? The answer is yes! People love to see the effort, especially when it is in their honor! People respond shockingly well.
So shed the ego and get an idea into motion. The cost of treats and construction paper are obviously minimal compared to the success you'll recognize! As I mentioned before, one action won't get everyone on board but a public and big display will help the team bond and be motivated as a group! But the work to motivate people on an individual basis must be working in the back ground apart from your big displays.
What have you done? Had successes doing something with your own calories or construction paper?
Filed under: Hints/Tips/Ideas