June 10, 2009

Rainy Day Ideas


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It’s raining as I write this, and it reminded me of what a drag it can be for kids stuck inside on a dreary, damp day. It’s depressing.

But when I was growing up and it rained, my Mom encouraged me to do something different, something to help eliminate the blanket of lethargy and apathy which often accompany drizzly days.

You can use a similar ploy at your agency.

Use wet sloppy days to solve nettlesome problems, break out of ruts, and get ideas flowing. Stick with me – this may sound hokey but I guarantee something productive will come from it.

Come up with a list of rainy-day projects. Some suggestions:

  • Task groups or individuals to generate a minimum of 10 ideas to increase the value of their work for clients without increasing cost or unbillable hours
  • Offer a small gift, maybe some sort of traveling trophy, for the largest number of computer files dumped or most kilobytes liberated by day’s end
  • Hold a contest – each department comes up with ideas to improve its efficiency and communication with another department
  • Then there’s the old standby: develop money-saving, productivity-increasing ideas, e.g. how can we develop low cost training programs?
  • Plan something different for this year’s Christmas party (always fun to do in the summer)
  • Start a book club – read business books and report on them to the staff with a focus on discovering improvements you can implement

Put a time limit on these “rainy day” challenges so other routine projects get done. At the end of the day have a beer-and-chips session to regroup and present any “awards.”

Here’s the point: it’s all about ideas. It’s invigorating to break out of routines on an otherwise dreary day and come up with a bunch of smart solutions. A little bit of fun like this will actually lubricate your brain so it’s easier to solve other problems. Try it.

By the way, a rainy day is a great opportunity for the boss to surprise everyone and order in lunch, too…

Your 2 cents

These were just a few thoughts that came to mind as a steady rain continues to fall outside. So what do you think? Got any suggestions to share with others reading this? Please comment below.


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