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CoolMeetingRoomThis is the fourth post in a series on developing successful Creative Planning Teams. Click HERE for the original post.

Creative team meetings live in a sort of dichotomy: they need to have creative freedom while working with a team that meets consistently. Being consistently creative is hard, as anyone in a creative role will tell you. So, how do you keep creativity fresh? That’s the discussion for today.

Meet consistently
You make time for the things that you place as your priority. This true-ism about life is also true about creating consistent creative team planning sessions. The senior pastor, worship pastor, technical director and others need to carve out time every week on the same day at the same time for at least two meetings.

The first meeting is held on Monday or Tuesday to recap the previous weekend with a critical eye, to review the current plans for the upcoming weekend (tweaks and changes) and to start planning for content 30-45 days away. That’s right – you don’t plan week to week if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Allow me to illustrate:

You can have it one of three ways:

Good + fast – but it’s not cheap.

Fast + cheap – but it’s not good.

Cheap + good – but it’s not fast.

So, what I said above about planning in advance is directly related to the reality triangle. In order to do things with quality, it’s not going to be cheap if you want to meet week-to-week. Your team will spend more money on fast fixes, outsourcing and last-minute man hours when they have a shortened window of opportunity.

The second meeting is usually held either late on Wednesday or early enough Thursday in the event that major changes are needed. This meeting includes the same team sharing a brief status-update for their team/role and any additional thoughts/ideas/information that the rest of the team needs to know.

Task-check Meetings
A big part of follow up meetings is the project management itself. It’s important to hold people (staff and volunteers) accountable and tracking tasks and deadlines. The holistic approach to developing creative weekend experiences instead of stand-alone weekend services means that you must take the time to meet, plan, assign and verify. These can be 7 minute meetings with only team members that are sharing a specific task and do not require the entire team. The key is to be consistently communicating. As a bonus, let me help you out with a post I did on three tools that I think will help with project management and organization: Sharing Information & Projects: Evernote, Dropbox and Basecamp.

Where To Meet?
It’s totally fine to meet in one convenient spot for many of your meetings. But it’s also important to vary the meeting space from time to time. Creative meetings need the creative infusion of fun places, so take your team to play in the park, go to Putt Putt or a host of other fun venues. Creative sparks fly when we don’t try to force creative moments.

One of the best things you can do for your regular meeting space is to add a white board. A big white board. A floor to ceiling, fill-the-wall white board. (Here’s a link to a DIY dirt-cheap huge whiteboard).

Why the huge white board? Because ideas are like Wacky Wall Walkers. Remember those? They used to come with cereal boxes and were essentially stick plastic balls with “legs” that stuck to a wall when you threw them against it, and then rolled down the wall. Ideas are like those because some stick for just a moment but fall flat. Some don’t stick at all. Others stick but then start to crawl down the wall and then fall down. But the best ones will stick and stay. It will become obvious when the best ideas stick around.

Plus, white boards allow for you to visually see ideas from various people written down across the board. You’ll see ideas come together and have a way to document (take notes – or, if you’re really high tech, use an electronic whiteboard!) the ideas. Take pictures (and use Evernote!) of the board and share it with the team after the meeting.

In the next post, I share about how to expand your go-to resources (both internal and external). How is this going so far? Share your comments below or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter with your ideas or questions.

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Technology and Church

Latest posts by Anthony Coppedge
Anthony Coppedge
Anthony Coppedge is a church technology consultant, speaker, and author with experience identifying strategies, building scalable systems and processes, and focusing efforts to stay true to the vision and DNA of an organization. He has served on staff at three mega churches and worked in the church management software and audio/visual industry.
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