So we’ve talked about the “who” of the planning team – now it’s time to get down to the “what.” Creative teams function in wildly different ways, from the teams that decide every service element together, to teams who are there to consult only – the boss calls the shots. I’ve found that a structure somewhere in between is most effective for us.
There are simply too many variables in our particular situation to be able to have the whole team involved in every minor decision, and – quite frankly – I just don’t think that’s a good use of everyone’s time. For example, everyone on the team might thing that the new Sarah Groves song is a perfect fit for an upcoming weekend, but you may be unsure if you have a vocalist available that week that will fit the song well – if the only singer you have that week is formerly of an 80’s hair band, you might want to think twice… In many of the programming situations, the group may function best as an idea generator – with quantity as the goal, and no judgments (yet)…
There is, as you might expect, certainly more of a feeling of ownership when team members actually get to decide things. So – what sort of things? It’s been my experience that it’s better to have them choose between a field of songs, videos, etc… that has already been narrowed down – this allows for a more detailed debate (and, yes – debate is OK!) on the potential choices.
A good rule of thumb might look like this:
1. Big group brainstorm (ideas, no decisions).
2. Leader or subgroup narrows the field.
3. Group goes into judgment mode on the remaining ideas at the next meeting.
Remember – this is a CREATIVE planning team! Rules can (and probably should) be broken from time to time. Switch things up – keep them fresh – and, most of all, remember the “why” of what you’re doing (stay tuned)…