Inspiring blue sky thinking?

I recently did some personal development training and as part of this we were asked to create a vision of our future dream careers . I have to give credit for the idea to Heather Forster the project manager of empowering smart women. For any one thinking about their future, I found it a fun way to think about the things that are important to me and what I would like from running my own business

It’s now blue tack’d to my office wall pending an A1 frame purchase opportunity as a constant reminder of my dreams and aspirations

Reflecting on the event this method could be used as a fun way to generate blue sky thinking from small business teams and include them in the decision making process. Identify potential future aspirations, strategies, markets, options for your own business and personal career future

You will need;

a stack of magazines, cataloges, brochures, relevant or irrellevant to your business, a mix of both is probably good

some scissors ~ glue ~ some A1 card or paper ~ any other bits like post it notes, materials or stickers you feel inclined to add ..and of course your team!


Belindas Blue sky thinking!

Either individually or in small groups, ask them to look through the magazines and cut out anything they think the business could look like in the future.  This can be pictures, words, symbols, anything relevant to your Task.  Ask them to be creative and to put anything they like, even if thats a new product, service, location, market, the sky’s the limit!!

Once this is done, the aim is to assemble a collage on the card.  Each one will likely be very different to the next as different perspectives and ideas are explored and individuals creativity pours onto the page.

The task can be flexible, the idea is to gleen from  your staff how they see the business, or how it might look in the future and at the same time have a bit of ‘blue peter’ fun.  Keep it simple so your team are able to be creative dependant on their preferences, too much control will simply have your team creating what they think you want to see, rather than what their perception. You might give them some topics like new products, new markets or advertising

Perception at a senior management level can often be clouded or blinkered.  Your team will highlight new perspectives of your business, ideas, opinions and potentially future opportunities for your business.

The task will provoke conversation both during, and after when there is time to reflect on the results.  Listen carefully, everybody is entitled to their opinion and perspective, dont put any pressure on your staff, try to think of it as team building and something fun to do for the last hour on a friday, and perhaps reflect on first thing the next monday morning.

Put any particularly good collages up in the office to admire and reflect on as time progresses and any projects that come from it are implemented.

How do you inspire ‘blue sky thinking’ in your business?

Do hope you have enjoyed reading this post :-)


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Belinda Waldock
Cornwall UK


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