Using art to boost creativity at work

Here is a simple to implement event, that will boost creativity at work. This event will work for any size of organizations that have over ten people. It’s relatively easy to implement, not expensive and will have a long-term impact. You can even do it over the weekend, although I would recommend Fridays. It’s also a nice way to finish the workweek with fun and high morale.

This event is a fun art contest between different teams where all the company staff will select a winner by voting. As an organizer, you need to find a theme you want the contest to be about. Company purpose or upcoming major upcoming business events can be a good topic. 

The next step is to get funding. What you will need is raw materials (in equal quantities) for 5-10 teams. Simple daily materials are better (wood, colors, ropes, plastic containers, or even old staff your company has in store. Don’t get too sophisticated. Another alternative is just to get a certain amount of money per team and give each team the option to buy what they want. I prefer the raw material option, it’s generation more creativity.

With funds, you can move forward. Ask staff for volunteers to assemble 5-10 teams, each team with 7-15 people. Each team should have one day to create any piece of art they want (based on the theme and supplied materials) and to install it by the end of the day in the office or outside the office. Never enforce people to be part of those teams. You can assemble the teams (randomly) or let them self organized. I prefer the second option.
When you have a theme, funds, and people you can move forward. Set a date and communicate that at the end of that date all the staff is welcome to view the results and select one piece of art that they like the most. If you can provide any kind of food and beverage for the exhibition, it’s even better. The next thing that you need to take care of is a working environment for all the teams. Also, don’t forget that people need to eat and drink. Take care of the working teams and surprise them.

One day before, or on the event’s morning, give each team the materials. You can give them the list earlier, so they can plan. Or, you can surprise them with the list. Once the teams got the materials (or funds) they should have a deadline for the art to be ready in an agreed place for voting. Give them anywhere between six to eight hours, if you are giving materials the same day. Ten to twenty-four hours if they get the raw materials day before.

If you can, I would start the art contest day in an event that includes all the staff. One way or another, the day should end up with “all staff event”. At this event, people should vote on their preferred choice. At the end of the event, the winner should be announced. My recommendation is not to give any monetary awards, but you know your organization better than me. On top of a popularity contest, you might want to add other categorize and find dedicated judges to cast their vote. For example, the most creative art.

Let people speak about the day and their experience. Make sure that someone with a video camera catches the teamwork and staff reactions. People will create amazing art, capture it.

After the event is over, I suggest keeping the team’s creation for display (or at least the winning installation). This will serve as a memory of how creativity feels like and what it can produce for a long time. 

As I mentioned, this event will spark innovation and creativity for one day, and its results will serve as memories for a longer time. If you like the idea, but prefer someone else organizes it for you, this is one service Galaxies provides. If you have any questions, just post a comment and I’ll replay.

Good luck! and please share your experience and results.

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