Have you ever been in a meeting where you found your colleagues’ minds were … stuck?
Maybe your organization needed a new theme for your fundraiser, creative ideas for a strategic partnership, or a better way to approach a budget challenge. Yet all the ideas generated felt about as fresh as yesterday’s avocado toast.
At Mission Minded we’ve found a surefire way for getting unstuck. It’s called the Curiosity Quest.
Four or five times a year, the Mission Minded team gets out. Way out. We leave the office for a half day and, together, explore the world beyond our doors.
We don’t necessarily talk about work. Instead, the objective is to give our brains a chance to stretch in a different way. See each other in a different way. See the world in a different way. Afterwards we return with the clear perspective needed to amplify the good with creative, new, and unexpected solutions.
Here are five reasonably priced Curiosity Quests we’ve taken in the last year for you to consider. All of them let you energize your team, unplug, and stir your own creativity. May they inspire you.
1. Take a Hike.
Yup, this seems obvious (we’re based in the Bay Area and Colorado, after all). But a simple walk through the woods can do wonders for your creativity.
On our last hike (thanks in part to our client Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy), our Creative Director challenged each of us to find something unexpected on the trail and snap a photo. Here’s mine:
2. Meet a New Museum
Skip the expected and find the museum that will inspire your team. The Exploratorium in San Francisco reminded us that we’re all kids at heart. The Denver Art Museum had the same effect.
For you, it might be The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture (Seattle), The Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco), The Museum of Tolerance (Los Angeles), or anything else thematically appropriate to your own work.
3. Make Art
You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate this idea. In fact, getting out of your comfort zone (“I’m not an artist!”) is exactly what unlocks the creative mind. We took a painting class at Painting with a Twist. The intimate setting, the vulnerability of creating in front of colleagues, and the finished pieces made this trip a winner. Plus we each had a beautiful piece of art to bring home.
4. Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard
Sometimes you just need to see a neighborhood or indoor space in a new way. In Denver we toured a mid-century modern house during Denver Modernism Week. It helped us see how the parts inform the whole – key for great design and communications. In San Francisco, we explored Chinatown, learned the fascinating history, and feasted on delicious dumplings.
5. Bring Your “A” Game
We’re big fans of karaoke — well some of us are. Let us assure you that nothing loosens the shackles of creativity faster than cheering your colleague on as she belts out some 70’s rock. If karaoke isn’t your thing, close second cousins of this type of trip: bowling, roller skating, putt-putt (also known as miniature) golf, ice skating, bocce.
Now, go on and rally your team to get out and be curious! Two or three hours out of the office together can spark just the inspiration you’ve been craving.
And if you could use even more inspiration right now, check out these other tips to get your creativity juices flowing: