Leadership is Calling Episode #41
Barbara Schindler and Heather McGonigal

Turn Meetings into Opportunities for Innovation and Problem-Solving

“To find those next footholds for growth, teams need sessions dedicated to pure imaginative thinking.”

To drive team innovation, leaders need to carve out time for open-ended creative sessions that go beyond practical brainstorming. This allows imaginations to unwind, builds on individual insights, and fosters an innovation mindset that can reveal unexpected opportunities.

Tired of meetings that feel stuck in the rut? Discover how to create an Innovation Think Tank in your team, even if you’re busy! Learn how to stretch your imagination, embrace uncertainty, and unlock the hidden potential of your team members.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

– The secrets of high-growth teams and how they use Innovation Think Tanks
– How to overcome the challenges of meeting overload and spark creativity
– Practical techniques for leading brainstorming sessions and turning ideas into action
– The steps to building a culture of innovation within your team
– How to unlock explosive growth and stay ahead of the competition

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your team and achieve incredible results!

Key Points
  • Teams need dedicated time for open-ended creative thinking
  • Go beyond practical brainstorming to unleash imagination
  • Collaboration builds on individual ideas to spur innovation
  • Cultivating an innovation mindset drives business growth
Related Resources

Leadership Skills: Compassionate Leadership
Leadership Development Articles: Speaking My Music: The “Meeting Agenda Revelation”  |  How to Be a Better Leader in a Changing World
Downloadable Leadership Tool: The Key Basics of Agreements

I’ve called this meeting because I think we should consider putting more thought into our recovery planning. Currently it just says run in circles and shout “What do I do?”, “What to I do?”


Auto-Generated Transcript – unedited version

Turn Meetings into Opportunities for Innovation and Problem-Solving


This is like a hot off the press, Barbara, thinking, “Okay, you know, for innovation in teams today.” And I think this is something that we need to think about and maybe expand on the thought. But, you know, a lot of times, and rightly so, there’s a huge value to meeting and, you know, “How are things going?” And we’re checking the competition. So we want to keep in current and times. Now everybody’s using this platform versus that platform. People are moving from summits to, you know, live events or, you know, program delivery changes to this kind of style. There’s all of that that we want to keep meeting together to say, “How are we doing?” And we are listening to business, getting our results and we’re wanting to stay in the competitive field, right? And try to continue to find that next foothold for growth.

And and, you know, standing out perhaps and in those meetings, there’s basically the mindset which is important to have in particular meetings to keep mindful of what’s happening now, what are the trends, all of that, right? And what’s our team capacity, what stage of business we’re at, what’s our resource availability? That all comes into play. But I do believe that there is a need for even more innovation in the current times to find those pieces of opportunity that are leading us towards what we call the “Green line up.” I call it the Green line. I think we’re going for a together, like when there’s an upturn particularly for your business, maybe a bigger opportunity. And then also when things are flowing, you know, externally that’s super helpful business to grow again. The economy turns around and things like that, right?

But the innovation I’m talking about is what is happening in our assessment and our thinking and any resource we might have to relate to that that we’re not thinking about now that the competition isn’t doing now. Like there needs to be a space in our teamwork. And I know everybody’s busy, but in, you know, I think of it as an “innovation innovation think tank,” let’s call it that. And it could be a bi-monthly meeting and, you know, it could be by, you know, maybe with… Yeah, one of the things I had when I had this thought today and I was like, “My gosh, this is fast start happening.” And teams were like, I was going to say, I have so many meetings, so it’s like anybody who feels a threat of, of, of invitation in this idea.

And it did come from coaching a particular person today who is having that experience in the team meetings and being like, “Gosh, I don’t really have an outlet to go outside of the box here and think it through even more.” And why we want a team doing that is because the idea of team collaboration is I’m thinking this and then this person’s thinking this and this person’s thinking that, and we move beyond any individual thinking. That’s the think tank theory. And in that, I’m really talking about an approach and an agreement to get together, to move outside of the box of what we know or what’s been happening and see what can come from that.

And it comes from inside your business and I can say we do have companies. Yes. Yes. But yeah, absolutely! Yeah, Yeah! And we definitely, you know, promote this in all of our coaching and training to have that as a two step. And what I’m inviting people to do today is take some of those brainstorming sessions and, and stretch the imagination deliberately, have more innovation invited in because I think that’s what’s needed today.

We don’t really know what’s going to stick, right? We don’t really know what’s going to have an impact. And that is a cool time to be doing business in, even though most of us are feeling a little stressed about it. It’s like that’s where, you know, coming into the playfulness, coming into “I don’t know what I don’t know” and willing to to move outside even further than absolutely the brainstorming. And many teams are doing that and take, you know, even virtually every other brainstorming session. Let’s really let go of practicality. Let’s really ask the question, “What aren’t we thinking right now? What isn’t happening out there? You know, what are our clients really telling us when they say this?” And be a great team for that and allow that space that might lead to the next brainstorming phase that gets a little more practical. And then the next one that says, “Can we really do this? And what would it take?”

Yeah, yes! Yes, yeah, yeah! And then you can, you can ideally say, then my team has mastered leading change and being able to develop. That would be a game changer for your business. Yes, seasons change, as all things do. Thanks for chatting today, Heather.

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