January might as well be called “Lethargy.” The weather is dull and cold and often wet, slip and fall incidents increase, people have less energy, and in general, it’s a dreary month, even if it is the start of a new year.
But you’ve got high hopes for business growth in 2022, and you want your team to be as motivated as you are to do their best work ever. What to do?
Get Back. To the sixties, and Beatlemania. As the legendary group enjoys a resurgence in popularity thanks to Get Back: The Documentary, which unveils video footage that’s been locked in a vault for half a century, there’s also a brilliant lesson in productivity and brainstorming brewing among the Fab Four, who must write, record and perform a new album in 12 days — a prodigious feat for anyone, even the prolific British group that defined rock ‘n’ roll.
Here are some takeaways from the film you can use to build your own business when tight deadlines loom, or people feel uninspired:
- Take a tip from improvisational comedy. In improv, a key rule is “yes, and…” which keeps the action moving. Saying “but” or “no” stops the flow and kills the skit. The Beatles adhered to this philosophy as they crafted new songs. It’s akin to brainstorming on a whiteboard: keep that marker moving, no matter how zany the ideas. There’ll be time to edit later.
- Develop a system. As facilitator for this project, Paul McCartney suggests a system of rapid prototyping: get all the chords down. Play it poorly ten times; then watch it morph into something good. Once your team has the broad brushstrokes of a new idea, a container to hold the melody, it’s easier to focus on the “words”: the new product or service that will play a major role in your company’s success in the coming year.
- Be kind. People can get overheated tossing ideas around, especially if one member of the team thinks a suggestion is never going to work. Good etiquette goes a long way towards producing something useful. Give each participant a chance to be heard without judgment. Listening well is another key to how improv performers build a story.
- Change your tune. In the video, the director has an idea: the band should travel to Libya to “play a torch-lit concert for 2000 Arabs.” Except the Beatles don’t want to travel, and they find the idea both impractical and in poor taste. Even though they reject the suggestion, he proposes it on a daily basis, with the same result. That isn’t improv. Don’t be a broken record. Move on.
- Fuel your body, fuel your mind. It’s easier to be creative when your body is in top form, so encourage everyone to stay hydrated and take healthy snack breaks. If any spills happen, you know whom to call.
Here at Impact Absorbents, we believe in brainstorming new spill clean up and spill containment solutions in every season. That’s how we’ve developed over 500 premier spill clean up products over the last 30 years.
In addition to our unique line of specialty granular absorbents, we offer one of the largest lines of spill response kits for everything from general maintenance, to hazardous chemical clean up, to biohazard spill response. We’ve also developed one of the most effective slip-and-fall prevention programs in the industry.
So put some Beatles music on in the background as you explain to your team how the Fab Four modeled brainstorming genius. If they could create a new album in less than two weeks, think what you can do with a slightly longer timeline. And you’re not even being recorded.