Fifteen Playground Rules for Smokin’ Creative Jam Sessions

For years, I’ve been privileged to work with some really sharp and creative people who have a heart for ministry and a passion for excellence. I’ve also had the opportunity to facilitate creative jam sessions with them to develop new ministries, marketing strategies, branding assets, resources and initiatives.

My goal has always been to foster an environment where creative thinking flies off the hook and team members feel safe in sharing their ideas no matter how wild they may seem.

Fifteen playground rules for smokin’ creative jam sessions:

1. All ideas are welcome including those that are “out there.”

2. There is no such thing as a “bad” idea. More on this here.

3. “Bad” ideas will be entertained until it is clear that they are truly bad.

4. Every team member will at least attempt to bring ideas to the table.

5. Off-topic brainstorming is permissible—especially if the team is diggin’ it.

6. Everything goes on the whiteboard even if it seems off topic.

7. Objections, time lines and budgets are off limits in the first session.

8. Each team member gets his/her turn to lead the session.

9. Good ideas will be massaged until they become great.

10. The team will take action on great ideas following the session.

11. Specific action steps will be assigned to specific team members.

12. Team members shall not be offended if their ideas get trashed.

13. If someone “borrows” a team member’s idea, that person will not whine.

14. All ideas are to remain confidential until they’ve matured conceptually.

15. The best ideas shall always win.

What about you? How do you jam?



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5 thoughts on “Fifteen Playground Rules for Smokin’ Creative Jam Sessions

  1. I like to go into information gathering mode first. Have a topic, trend, or theme to chew on and then flip through magazines, books, web articles, etc about that theme and let it all marinate. Then, when we get to the brainstorming time, my brain starts making all kinds of connections and throwing sparks around. I can also flash with others’ ideas more readily if I’ve been ‘marinating’.

  2. Nice post. #7 is the one I think people tend to get stuck…particularly when it comes to $$$. I'm always encouraging to act as if our budget is limitless. The concern about money often prevents brilliant ideas from ever being presented.

  3. Thanks Bobby! Agreed. I've often seen $$$ become an initial unnecessary obstacle to the creative process. I also think that small vision comes into play and inhibits ideation.

    Good comments. Thanks for posting up!

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