Cross-Pollinate Ideas to Cultivate Efficiency and Help Creativity Bloom

Most of us think we’re doing a pretty good job of sharing ideas and passing along helpful information to our team members.  

And you probably are — when you remember to do it. But in today’s often-remote world, you may want to try some new ways to share ideas more deliberately and regularly.  

Consider setting aside some “cross-pollination” time. That might sound like a hard pass: Nobody wants another meeting. But cross-pollination is worth your time, so aim to get your team together every few weeks, or even just once a month. You’ll unlock creative ideas and efficiencies you never even imagined.  

Start with a question 

You won’t need a detailed agenda. Instead, open the floor for a free-flowing discussion using prompts like: What’s been working for you? What have you been doing that might work for other projects? Where are you spending your creative energy? How can the team help you come up with or expand an idea? 

Know that silence is OK. The wait is worth it. Because brilliance usually follows that pause for pondering. 

Be supportive 

In a cross-pollination meeting, the goal is to get people sharing, so make sure you don’t shut down your teammates’ ideas. As the moderator, gently encourage everyone to contribute — even if it’s via typed comments during the meeting. (Nobody likes to feel shamed into sharing.) 

Make the investment 

Investing the time to focus on helping each other work efficiently pays significant dividends. You’ll spend less time spinning your wheels trying to come up with new ideas alone or wondering why other people aren’t doing things more efficiently. (They’re too busy doing their own jobs to analyze how you’re doing yours. It’s up to you to share the secrets.) 

Our remote team schedules a cross-pollination call every other week. We always leave rejuvenated and ready to tackle big projects in new ways. No matter how busy your team is, give it a try. I promise you’ll leave the meeting inspired with ways to help new ideas to take root and bloom beautifully. 

by Katherine Brennecke