Challenger Brands have meetings, too. We’re not always busy taking down our industry gorillas, we’re often planning on how to take down our industry gorillas. And to do this, we need to gather our sharpest Challenger Brand minds and focus them on a specific or series of tasks, goals, opportunities or other end result of assembling our best and brightest. You know, a typical corporate meeting.
Of course, a Challenger Brand meeting should never be typical; there’s too much at stake. Every minute of the meeting should be planned wisely with an eye to efficiency, effectiveness and engagement. Are all of the attendees getting their “money’s worth?” Is their time well-spent? Are they participating as well as hearing from others? Are they learning as well as teaching? Are they having fun?
We’d like to focus this discussion on just the beginning of the meeting; getting things started, kicking off, breaking the ice. The launch of a meaningful meeting is the most critical part. It is here where the participants answer the above questions assessing if this time commitment will bear fruit. No meeting goes worse than the one where the attendees have not bought in; and most don’t buy in right at the beginning.
A meeting that begins with crossed arms, rolling eyes and pursed lips is destined for pain, lots of rambling, dreary, distracted pain. So, set the tone at the very beginning – This is going to be the meeting that changes your career trajectory, elevates your reputation and alters the way you look at life. You ready?
How do you kick off a life-changing meeting? Start by asking four key initiation questions:
- What is the purpose of the meeting?
- What is expected of those present?
- What is the process required to make this happen?
- What are the expected results of implementation?
Everyone must buy in to these base concepts and believe the juice extracted from the time spent is worth the squeeze. Now that the table has been set, let’s engage the gathering in an initial exercise designed to bring the team together, think differently, reduce the resistance, gain alignment and have a little fun while being entombed in a conference room for two hours. Below we will share three of our favorite Challenger Brand Meeting Ice Breakers for your consideration and execution.
Objective: This exercise requires a little teamwork and physicality. Team must work together to move as one from one side of the blanket to the other without touching the floor. Requires strategy, leadership, trust, conflict resolution and a sense of humor.
Set-Up: You’ll need five blankets (could be towels, sheets or something similar in size and flexibility). There should be a clear side “A” and a side “B” (perhaps two different colors). Participants should remove their shoes.
- Count people off into groups of five
- Lay the blankets flat and have each team stand on top of their blanket like it’s a tiny island
- The goal is to figure out how to flip the blanket over without letting anyone on the team touch the floor (pretend the floor is lava)
- If one person falls off the island (or makes any contact with the floor), the whole team must restart
- The first team to flip their blanket over wins
Objective: You may remember this from middle school. The concept is simple, which team can drop an egg from approximately 20 feet high without it breaking? The exercise becomes the team’s approach to wrapping the egg with the available materials. Requires strategy, creativity, collaboration, persistence and a sense of humor.
Set-Up: You’ll need a carton or two of raw eggs. Some potential architecture materials and tools may include: pipe cleaners, construction paper, scissors, glue, rubber bands, tape, newspaper, etc. Plastic tarp should be laid out beneath the launch site.
- Break group in to teams
- Teams are given 20 minutes to strategize and build their egg carriers
- Teams take turns releasing their egg/contraption from the launching pad
- Surviving eggs live to compete in the next round
- Surviving teams release their egg/contraption from a foot higher
- Additional rounds continue at higher release points until there is a winner
Note: Feel free to substitute a paper airplane-building contest if there are any concerns about using raw eggs.
Print-Ad Fairy Tale
Objective: Using full-page print ads ripped out from various magazines, teams are asked to create a detailed story about a specific aspect of their business. Requires strategy, creativity, problem solving, presenting and a sense of humor.
Set-Up: Collect a stack of print ads; approximately 15-20 per team. Each team gets a 36” x 48” poster board upon which to paste their images. Will need glue stick and marking pens.
- Break group into teams
- Each team gathers around a work station with glue sticks, marking pens, poster board and print ads
- Team creates a story using the available print ads pasted to the board in the order the story unfolds
- Team selects a story teller to lead
- Best story, as voted by the group at large, wins
If your meeting is in need of an ice breaker to ensure your team maximizes its meeting time, just contact us here.