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Motivate Your Team to Think Differently

There’s much to be said for the value of looking outside our day-to-day worlds for ideas and inspiration. Events spur an abundance of diverse perspectives that won’t cross our minds plugging away on a “normal” business day.

Thinking “outside the box,” is easier said than done if we—and our team members—never get out of the cubicle or conference room. So, I offer the following questions as you consider ways to motivate your team to think differently and to shake it up a bit.

When was the last time someone from your team attended an event, seminar, workshop or conference even slightly outside their wheelhouse of expertise?  It doesn’t have to be a drastic departure from the day job, but a forum that introduces new ideas and/or engages the right side of the brain (for the left-brain thinkers) can be just the ticket for unleashing a new angle on solving a persistent problem. 

What would happen if you encouraged participation in such events once a quarter as a part of your team’s professional development plan? If you can’t afford for team members to be out of the office that often, perhaps you rotate across the team, chartering each person to report back to the rest of the team, “News from the front,” if you will.

What is it costing you in employee satisfaction and motivation to keep your team bound to their desks, internal PowerPoint meetings, and “we’ve tried that before” thinking? There are always reasons why getting out of the office for seemingly extraneous events doesn’t make sense. At the same time, seemingly extraneous events can light a fire in the belly of a team member and send a powerful message that she is valued.

Professional development is a big commitment, from both a time and dollar standpoint. At the same time, it may help you retain valued team members when business is vulnerable, differentiate your company to new employees, and energize your current team to think differently.

What are you going to do to expand your definition of professional development for your marketing and sales to spawn fresh ideas and energy?

December 20, 2013  ·  

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