5 Awkward “elevator” ideas to sparkle innovation within your business.

Innovation seed and creative spirit within a business framework is something to be cherished and cultivated. These are 5 ideas of corporate initiatives that may bring the spirit to a higher level, using company’s elevators.

  1. Transform your elevators into “meditation and yoga” spaces for your employees. Zazen meditation, for example, is one way to clear and tranquil the mind and the participant is meant to face a wall (elevator’s, in this case). OSHO Dynamic Meditation is another form of profound meditative practice to get rid of people skins of ego. Yoga works also on the balance at a more complete level, involving equilibrium of senses, inner states (thoughts and emotions) and bodily movements (actions). Hire a zazen certified practitioner (a yoga one) and offer free sessions to anybody in your company taking the elevator during the day, at any hour. People sharing a common such space will create and delve into a more calm and ready to innovate culture.

  2. Play binaural sounds in elevators. Binaural sounds are engineered to induce good creative states to the brain. It will train anybody’s mind to self generate alpha and possibly theta states of relaxation and creativity. Mixed with relaxing music, they make a perfect audio companion anywhere.

  3. Have a “Yes, and …” elevator policy in your company. Everybody should play along by not blocking anything of what’s being said or shown by others in an elevator. Each employee should be aware to start his dialogues by repeatedly saying “yes, and …”. This improvisational exercise will help opening up the souls, ideas and emotions. “Blocking is a form of aggression” says Keith Johnstone.
  4. Instill a culture of “the doodling whiteboard in the elevator” in your company: have each elevator walled with whiteboards. Encourage employees to doodle their mind on these whiteboards and then create a “book of company’s doodles”. Doodling is a way of releasing creativity out of people. Doodles have meaning. Have meetings based on discussing the Book of Company Elevator Doodles and using them as input for creative processes. Semco uses a small booklet under the form of a compilation of cartoons called “The Survival Manual” and this is the only form of procedure they have. MBWA – “Management by Wandering Around” is also a form of doodling, “management doodling”, in the sense that managers wander around and participate to various managerial tasks, etc., without really a formal plan set up before.

  5. Rotate and swap your employees and managers. Make a guiding policy out of changing each employee’s nature of the job, once in a while (a day each week). The ones finding themselves together in the elevator in the morning will swap their roles for that day. The more the employees know better all the entrails of the company, the more they will contribute to the development and perfecting of the flows and procedures. From different angles, problems have different shades and may be solved with better and up-to-date solutions.

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George Bragadireanu

George Bragadireanu