Michael Michalko is one of my most revered authors and speakers on the subject of creativity.
I own all of his books and follow his blogs and articles religiously!
Michael recently wrote an article entitled Activate Your Inner Creativity in which he expounds the virtues of creating a Zeitgeist Board to prime your inner creativity.
Until I read the article, I had never heard of a Zeitgeist Board, so I looked it up. Unbeknownst to me, I have been using this technique but under a different, simpler name – vision collage.
Using Zeitgeist Boards as a Brainstorming Technique
I am often called upon by clients to facilitate vision, mission, and values sessions. These words usually instil feelings of both fear and boredom in the guests invited to participate in the session… and I don’t blame them.
Sitting around a boardroom table trying to figure out who the organization is, what they aspire to be, and then layering on a set of meaningful values—it’s a hellish task! But, all that changes when you turn it into a cut and paste exercise…or the creation of a Zeitgeist Board!
The process is simple, a ton of fun, and guaranteed to work!
How to Create a Zeitgeist Board
Ask everyone to bring a stack of magazines to the meeting. Break the large group into smaller teams. Give each guest a glue stick and a pair of scissors. Teams are given 20 minutes to leaf through the magazines and cut and paste words and images that represent the current state of the organization. Each team presents their boards; key words and thoughts are captured.
Then repeat the exercise with different magazines, and ask each team to create a board that represents their vision of the future of the organization.
The gaps between the current boards and the future boards become crystal clear! Through discussion about the gaps, the path on how best to get there is almost magically revealed.
The richness of the words and visuals on the future board will also contain the keys to a set of values that are unique and original to the organization!
As Michael says in his article, “The idea is to surround yourself with images of your intention (what you want to create or who you want to become) and, in the process, to encourage your awareness and passion to grow.”
The future boards should be prominently displayed in common areas in the office so that they can always act as reminders or primes on your journey!
Are you looking for new ways to encourage creativity and innovation in your team? Ask us about our brainstorming workshops.