Bi-weekly, our executive team hosts a leadership development session for our managers. This week, we gave it a twist with the instruction to the team to bring their creativity, wild ideas, and game changers. We spent 60 minutes in a fast paced brainstorming session generating ideas on where we want to take the business from a product, innovation, service, technology, and operational perspective.
To ensure we mined gems, we set the stage by asking the team to visualize L. E. Smith at 3 times our current size. What does excellence look like from the perspective of our customers? Our shareholders? Our employees? How do we want to do business if our goal is to delight our customers?
The ground rules? No detailed explanations, justification, or reasoning for ideas. No judgment or evaluation of ideas. All input must be in the form of a new or expanded idea. The result?
We had one of our most productive sessions ever. The team took risks, thought big, and supported one another by spinning new ideas from those already presented.
The results themselves were powerful but the process was even more powerful. Energy was raised and the team felt part of something strategic, exciting, and game changing. I realized we don’t do this enough. We spend the majority of our mental energy and time on today, this month, and this year’s opportunities and challenges. While important, these discussions typically capture step change opportunities.
Excellence in the short term is imperative to long term success; however, it’s equally as important to clearly define what the ultimate desire is for the business. Once everyone has clarity, thoughts and ideas are bigger, and the desire to achieve begins to burn brighter. When desire grows, perceived barriers shrink and the likelihood of success increasing exponentially.