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Creative Teams: meetings & deep-dives Riding the highs and lows of the creative process

Riding the highs and lows of the creative process Leadership teams can often get stuck managing mandatory tasks and overseeing governance issues, at the expense of focusing their attention and intention on the true multipliers of value: strategy, innovation, people and learning. Applying usual meeting formats to these key topics often leads to sub-optimal conversations. Creative Team meetings & deep-dives are bespoke designs. They range from half-day sessions to two or three-day deep-dives, allowing line or project teams to step into the unknown, become present, see and work with the invisible, and find and follow flow – the realm of creative insight and collective breakthrough.

Applications of Creative Team meetings and deep-dives

• Developing a rhythm of dialogues around business critical topics, prioritie portfolio • Aligning local HR business partners around a new set of global p innovation programmes • Co-designing a new set of disciplines to transform t large group interventions and co-creative conferences • Building the creativ

es and questions • Re-designing the brand architecture of a global product processes and platforms • On-boarding new teams to large-scale change or the ‘craft’ of a global marketing function • Helping leadership teams to design ve capacity of key teams

‘We apply our new design and catalyst skills every time we meet in teams, in crossfunctional groups and even in large conferences. And the more we practice them the more powerful they get.’

An evocative story... ‘Our monthly team meetings were becoming less and less productive. We would sit around a large table, everyone taking their usual seats, some more interested than others, and work our way through an overly ambitious agenda. If we were lucky, our meetings would only over run by an hour or two. And we would spend most of our time listening to presentation after presentation. We were stuck in a rut, not knowing there were alternative ways of working. When we started working with nowhere one of the first things we learned was to experiment with different ways of meeting. Instead of focusing on building long agendas, we started to design our meetings, rebalancing the mix between inputs and discussions. We learned how to slow down, how to trust, how to think together, how to disagree with each other and how to see new insight. We learned how to apply these new ways of working to our monthly meetings, learning when to sit around a table and when not. Over time we started to delegate more, enabling us to focus most of our time and energy working in the unknown, and skillfully tackling the really tricky issues and challenges. We then started to gather our top talent around business critical issues and opportunities, in two-day, three-day and sometimes even four-day deep-dives. The nowhere catalysts would work with us to design these creative interventions, showing us how to weave content and process. And they would catalyse our meetings, enabling us to deep-dive into the issues and allowing us all to be on the pitch. Today we have a cadre of internal catalysts, trained by nowhere, who support our leaders and their teams all over the world. They help us maximise our time together and focus on the most value adding activities. We apply our new design and catalyst skills every time we meet in teams, in cross-functional groups and even in large-scale conferences. And the more we practice them the more powerful they get.’

What are Creative Team meetings and deep-dives…? Creative Team meetings are ways of meeting that enable teams to quest into strategic challenges and intractable issues. Ideally there is also a burning question, or set of burning questions, that lie at the heart of the team’s enquiry and drive need. These ‘breakthrough’ questions fuel the curiosity, courage and conviction needed to step out of our comfort zone and our usual ways of thinking and relating. Creative Teams learn how to prepare differently for a meeting. They sit together differently. Yet, they often follow a very simple flow. This flow enables them to: • slow down to speed up – deepening contact and establishing the strategic container • introduce the breakthrough question or ecology of breakthrough questions • map what is already known • step into the unknown • stand still and become present to what is • make-marks to discover new patterns and possibilities • find and follow the flow of new insight • craft the most potent way forward Deep-dives are ways of bringing diverse, cross-function groups together to share learning, to align around a collective challenge and to find an elegant way forward. Deep-dives can vary in size from a small group of six, up to a community of around sixty. While a deep-dive follows a similar flow to a Creative Team meeting, different rules apply when working with larger numbers of people. Creative Team meetings can be as short as a half-day; while deep-dives are particularly powerful when held over two or three-days at an off-site location. The challenge of both forms is to optimise how the team or group turns up, how they ride the highs and lows of the creative process, and how they turn new insight into practical next action.

To learn more about Creative Team meetings and deep-dives email us at Or visit

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Creative Teams Meetings & Deep Dives  

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