Best Quotes from The Power of Moments

Do you ever have a book that keeps appearing on your radar over and over? You see it on every bookshelf, you hear people quoting from it, and several of your friends tell you (in the same week), “You should read this book. You’ll love it.”

That’s what happened with The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. One of our recent guests asked if we had read the book because, as he said, “You guys already DO this stuff.” He was right. This book resonated with all of us because we’ve discovered that moments can make or break the entire perception of a meeting. Creating memorable moments for guests is one of our primary goals.

We read the Power of Moments and dedicated one of our recent staff meetings to a book club type discussion. We unanimously agreed that we loved the book, not just because it aligns with the way we operate, but because it also provided us with new ways to think about how we can create even more peak moments for our guests, team, families, etc.

I asked my team what their favorite quotes from the book were. There are SO many good ideas in this book, however since our business revolves around meetings, team building, and service.

Here are our favorite quotes from the Power of Moments book:

 

“Not every meeting needs to be a “defining moment.” But once every 5 to 10 meetings, find a way to break the script.”

 

“Beware of the soul-sucking force of ‘reasonableness’ otherwise you risk deflating your peaks. Speed bumps are reasonable. Mount Everest is not reasonable.”

 

“Laughter is more about the relationships than the humor. We laugh to tie the group together. Our laughter says, I’m with you. I’m part of your group.”

 

“Being innovative starts with getting outside the office and it doesn’t ‘hurt’, it feels good!  It stimulates you and stretches you and reinvigorates you.”

 

“You endure a grueling experience with others and emerge with bonds that will never break.”

 

“In life, we can work so hard to get the kinks out that we forget to put the peaks in.”

 

“To elevate a moment, do three things: First, boost sensory appeal. Second, raise the stakes. Third, break the script.”

 

“The ‘occasionally remarkable’ moments shouldn’t be left to chance! They should be planned for, invested in. They are peaks that should be built. And if we fail to do that, look at what we’re left with: mostly forgettable.”

 

“To exceed customer expectations and create a memorable experience, you need the behavioral and interpersonal parts of the service. You need the element of pleasant surprise.”

 

“To increase positive variance is to welcome humanity and spontaneity into the system. And that means giving employees license to break the script.”

 

“The reason people hate meetings is that emotion is deliberately squeezed out. Participants sit and listen to programmed presentations. But this is a choice, not an inevitability. You can just as easily conduct a meeting that has drama, meaning, and connection. You cannot bring two teams together by simply talking about unity. They must experience unity. That’s what makes it a defining moment.”

 

And our favorite quote from Power of Moments:

“It’s going to be way harder than you think to create peaks. But once you’ve done it, you’re going to consider every ounce of effort worth it.”

4 Reasons to Try Improv as a Team

Google “corporate improv training” or “improv for business” and you’ll receive links to articles on why improv classes are great for workplace culture, primarily beginning with the principle of “Yes, and,” then trickling down into other principles like listening, team building and creativity.

Those articles are amazing and insightful. You can read a few of them herehere, and here.

But I’d like to tackle four OTHER reasons to incorporate improv into your workplace. These principles guide me both on and off stage and I credit them with helping me build my own business.

Improv turns differences (or perceived weaknesses) into assets

Great improvisers believe that everyone has something to bring to the table, whether they’re new to the art form or an established veteran.

We learn quickly in improv that our differences (or the things we’re not good at…yet) are what make us great together in the moment. Sometimes the very thing we think is weird, or we perceive as a weakness, is the very thing that makes the whole machine beautiful and effective.

At the very least, embracing our differences and the differences in others provides greater opportunity to either support or be supported. It gives us a chance to make each other look good, and work toward a mutual goal of creating win-wins and overall group success.

Improv shifts your perspective on failure

At the start of every single one of my workshops—whether it’s for kids or adults—I say the following phrase:

“Failure is just more information.”

The beauty of improv is that it teaches you to fail, fail quickly and, yes, even be celebrated for that failure.

Why celebrate?

First, we’re all human, and we’ll mess up a million times in our lifetime. Celebrating our failures is simply celebrating being human.

Second, it helps to neutralize the fear of failure.

In fact, messing up means we’ve learned something new. Either we know better for next time how to work with a certain scene partner or which choices make us feel smarter.

Fail. Celebrate. Know what we didn’t know before.

Third, we celebrate failure because it creates space for the next right choice.

Everyone’s heard the stories of the inventor who goes through thousands of (failed) prototypes to get to the invention that works. Each failure led to the next best thing.

When we approach our corporate culture this way, it frees people up to think more creatively and to know that even if it’s not the right move, right now, it’ll create an opportunity for the right move later.

Improv teaches you to revel in the unknown

My favorite thing in the whole world is performing in TBD: the Improvised Musical. We get a title from the audience and then we go for 90 minutes with no script and no score. We have nothing but each other and the love of our craft.

And yet, at the end of every show, we’ve created a whole story and 10-12 new songs from scratch and proven to ourselves once again that sometimes not knowing the destination means the joy of getting there is that much sweeter.

An improvised musical isn’t business, though. In business, plans are important. Strategy is paramount to success.

And yet, there are an infinite number of variables that are impossible to know ahead of time.

Improv teaches us to revel and embrace those moments of unknown. Because anything can happen in those moments: the greatest success, a new idea, a path we didn’t know was open to us before.

Make a plan. Stick to it. But embrace those unknowns, too, for it’s in those delicious moments of freefall that we truly learn to fly.

Improv considers every idea important

Note that I didn’t say “improv considers every idea good.” I’ve been on stage when I’ve been presented with spectacularly bad ideas (or when I’ve presented them to others).

But the idea itself—even if it’s a bad one, or considered a failure–is important.

When I teach brainstorming to companies and individuals, one of the first things we tackle is making sure our inner editors die a spectacular death.

Our inner editors tell us that we should only come up with good ideas, because if we come up with good ideas, then we can move on.

Wrong.

When it comes to finding the best ideas, it’s important to first come up with an abundance of ideas—probably hundreds more than we think we need–and, initially, give them equal weight.

Improv teaches us to treat every idea like it has the potential to be great…with a little tweaking.

When we create a culture in our businesses where every idea is important (if only to get them out so your brain has space to create new ones), it means we can come up with—very quickly!—some awful ideas, hundreds of pretty okay ideas, and a few potentially good ideas, all of which can then be refined into one or two great ideas.

Most corporate cultures only make room for great ideas…except it’s impossible to come up with a fully realized, ready-to-go, off-the-shelf great idea at first pass. (It’s also creatively paralyzing.)

Good ideas are born. Great ideas are made. Improv helps us get there.

Ready to get your improv on? Learn more and grow together with an improv workshop at sparkspace!


Meet our Guest Blogger: Sarah J. Storer

Sarah J. Storer is an improv performer and educator with over 15 years of experience in the art form. She earned her Master’s degree in Marketing and Communication in 2008 and soon became obsessed with combining the art of improv with the principles of business. Since then, she’s had the opportunity to design and facilitate improv classes and workshop experiences in Columbus, OH for companies like Cardinal Health, Honda, Edward Jones, Owens Corning, Nationwide, Spectrum and Geben Communication to help them build better teams, participate in authentic communication and grow thriving, productive businesses. To learn more visit www.selfimprovment.org or www.hashtagcomedy.com.

Four Proven and Powerful Team Building Exercises

Gone are the days of trust falls and human knots. Team building exercises have taken a serious scientific turn in the past few years and there are many proven exercises that can help bring your team together or get them performing at a higher level. Here are sparkspace, we firmly believe in the importance of team building, and we find it helpful to incorporate team building exercises into key meetings. Not sure what that would look like? Here are four ideas to build trust, communication, and creativity within your group.

To Bring a New Team Together

If you’ve just added people to your team or this is the first time a particular set of people have worked together, a great way to bring the group closer is to encourage social bonding in a non-work environment. In a LinkedIn study, 46% of professionals worldwide indicated that having friends in the workplace was crucial for their overall work satisfaction.

Bringing a group of people together socially requires organization and planning. Many people, when left to their own devices, are too shy to speak up in social situations which is why a structured activity that finds common ground between team members is best. One example of this is our North Market Interactive Lunch. Everyone loves to eat, so the engagement and conversations that come with a “foodie adventure” are sure to spark team bonding.

For Better Team Communication

Miscommunication can lead to something as innocent as a missed project deadline or as massive as losing your biggest client. If your team is having trouble communicating clearly, first get everyone out of the office. Typically communication issues are tied to trust so getting everyone out of their usual environment will clear the way for a breakthrough experience.

Improv Comedy is a great exercise in getting everyone synchronized. As our friends at local improv troupe, Hashtag Comedy say, “Basic improv skills encourage listening and connecting in a collaborative manner. Improv games help employees to suspend judgment and overcome blocks to creative problem-solving. In addition to building better communication among co-workers, improv also aids in interactions and engagement with clients and customers.” 

You can add an Improv Team Building Workshop to your next meeting at sparkspace if you want to start improving your team’s ability to communicate with one another.

Gain Cooperation

Perhaps your team is already established, but they just can’t seem to get it together for this particular assignment. Personalities are clashing, and no one can agree on where to head the project next. If you need to encourage cooperation or collaboration amongst your group, try some volunteer activities.

When employees work together for a very clear goal, such as serving lunch at a soup kitchen or participating in a litter cleanup, they gain a sense of pride and accomplishment that carries back into the office.

Increase Creative Problem Solving

Being creative and innovative can be difficult in a rigid corporate world. If you want to encourage problem-solving, the first requirement is to create a problem. I’m sure many groups would consider being locked in a room together with a problem, which is why an escape room is a great activity. These rooms challenge participants to find a final exit key or code through a series of riddles or clues.

If you want your team to start thinking outside the box and come up with innovative solutions for your project, give them a chance to work together on something completely creative and non-work related.

While some employees will roll their eyes at the first mention of team building exercises, more and more businesses are finding fun and innovative ways to engage employees, bring teams together and increase productivity and their bottom line. Try a new team building activity in your office or join sparkspace for one of ours!

Why Columbus Sparks Creativity

Research shows that the company you keep plays a large role in your ability to think creatively. Luckily for central Ohioans, Columbus is one of the top cities in the country in terms of sparking creativity. As a creative meeting space, our entire ideology rests on the belief that getting out of the office and into a new and stimulating environment is the key to sparking creativity and ideas. We believe that good ideas are borne of new experiences and that creativity is sparked through stepping out of the norm.

Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time local, there’s something for everyone in Columbus. Don’t believe us? Try out a few of these hotspots, and you’ll see for yourself why Columbus sparks creativity for business professionals:

Columbus Museum of Art

The Columbus Museum of Art is a great place to go to see the creative work of others, but it’s also known for spectacular workshops and events that can help spark creativity. From luncheons to open studios in combination to the exhibits themselves, this museum is a must-see part of Columbus if you’re looking for a little inspiration.

North Market

This casual eatery is one of the hallmarks of Columbus culture and a top destination for tourists of the city. The lively lunch rush makes North Market the perfect place to get a taste of fresh cuisine while enjoying some people watching. With cuisines from all around the world cooked upon order with fresh, local ingredients, North Market gives you the inspiration of the world without ever having to leave the city.

They say the way to the heart is through the stomach, but North Market just might prove that it’s not just the heart you’ll reach…but perhaps your creativity as well. And don’t forget to visit the North Market with your team while you’re here at sparkspace too!

Comedy Shows

It’s said that laughter is the best medicine, but who knew it can also be the key to creativity? At least that’s the idea behind Hashtag Comedy Co., a local comedy improv group. Through their improv classes and corporate workshops, they can help you and your team get up, get laughing, and start thinking outside of the box. We believe in the creative benefits of improv so much that we offer an improv team building experience right here at sparkspace, lead by Hashtag Comedy!

Short North Arts District

The Short North is regarded as the “art and soul” of Columbus due to its dynamic culture and unique community. Many young business professionals live in the district, which gives the area a young, vibrant feel. There are many opportunities to get involved with the community, from gallery hops every first Saturday of the month to fun nights out at the district’s bars. Engaging with other young professionals in a culture-rich area might be just what you need to spark your next great idea!

 

Creativity doesn’t come from sitting in an office forcing yourself to think. It comes from vibrant experiences and energizing environments. Business professionals in central Ohio are nestled perfectly within a city bursting with opportunities to get involved and spark creativity. The next time you need a new idea, try stepping out of the office and into a new experience and you might just realize how quickly it sparks creativity!

Three Common Myths About Team Building

You’ve been instructed by your boss to include a “team building activity” on to your company’s upcoming retreat. You can practically hear the groans coming from nearby cubicles as you send the Outlook invite. Why does team building have such a bad reputation? What is the purpose of team building? Maybe because there’s such a stereotype associated with it.

Here are the 3 common myths we hear about team building:

1. Team building puts people to sleep. On the contrary! A well-executed, simple team building activity will leverage each individual’s unique problem-solving skills so everyone feels engaged (and no one feels bored).

2. Team building isn’t fun. At sparkspace, we believe the best team building experiences don’t involve work or solving problems related to your work…those type of activities typically tank. Instead, focus on problem-solving with fun applications like playing games.

3. Team building activities take too long. We agree with this one! Traditional team building can be a half day or – gasp – a full day affair. No thanks! An hour for team building is a great sweet spot to step away from your meeting, engage your team, and then go back into meeting mode.

sparkspace is trying to change the way companies do team building. We actually like to refer to it as team bonding instead of team building, since bonding is what it’s ultimately encouraging.

That’s why we’ve partnered with some amazing local companies to bring you our NEW Team Bonding Experiences, that help demonstrate the importance of team building.

Did we mention that this is really easy to add on to a meeting? And that you can add it on at any time during your meeting? Contact us to get more details or you can click the button below.

The Staggering Importance of Team Culture

Organizational culture. What is it and why does it matter so much?  One of my favorite team culture descriptions comes from Richard Perrin: Organizational Culture is the sum of values and rituals which serve as ‘glue’ to integrate the members of an organization.” The reason I love this definition is that it speaks to both the WHAT (rituals) and the WHY (values) of team culture in the workplace.

Why does organizational culture matter?

When team members of an organization feel safe, valued and aligned with the company’s overall vision and mission, the glue that holds them together is strong. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the positive impact that culture has on efficiency and productivity!

How do we take intentional action toward creating a positive team culture?

Here are ways you can get started today:

  • Create space and opportunities for your team and members of your organization to connect outside of formal meetings. A study conducted by MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that the energy and engagement level of a team can be greatly increased by simply structuring coffee breaks so that all members of the team can break together.
  • Deal directly with policies, processes and people that propagate negative experiences that are destructive to a healthy culture. Though this is far from pleasant and desirable, the consequences of addressing issues with a passive, or blanket approach – or worse yet ignoring them – are far greater than the discomfort of tackling them quickly and head on. A productive way to approach these difficult situations is through meeting facilitation, which we offer at sparkspace. Our expert facilitators can help you and your team smoothly navigate any conflicts or issues.
  • Empower your people. Nothing builds trust like providing your people with the direction and resources they need to be successful and then giving them the space to do what they were hired to do. This doesn’t mean you have to be totally hands-off. It means you allow people to do their thing and serve as more of a guide, rather than their (micro)manager.

In what ways have you effectively created and/or strengthened the culture where you serve, work and lead? Please share with us by commenting on this blog post. In addition, plan your next offsite meeting or retreat with us here at sparkspace.

How to Know When It’s Time for a Team Retreat

When it comes to off-site team retreats, there are typically two kinds of people: those that love them and those that don’t. Despite this polarization, retreats can play a huge part in both the short and long-term success of your team and organization.

The key is knowing when a retreat makes sense for your team.

Off-site team retreats are most appropriate when they have a very focused and clear objective that reaches beyond immediate results. Retreat goals and objectives such as innovation, collaborative decision making, and process evaluation or improvement are just a few examples of great reasons for an off-site retreat. Or maybe your team has some baggage that is dragging down productivity and morale.

Besides the content of the meeting, a team retreat may be needed when you desire these outcomes the most:

  1. Gathering all parties vital to the desired outcome in the same place at the same time.
  2. Everyone away from the regular buzz and interruptions of the office for distraction-free work time.
  3. Work being done in real-time and face-to-face; eliminating the potential for misunderstanding and wasted time.
  4. Relationships being built and strengthened while working off-site and reenergizing your team beyond the event itself.

What are your reasons for an off-site retreat? Which of the benefits above would mean the most to you in tackling that objective head on?

Your first step is an easy one: get off-site.

There are plenty of staff retreat locations that help fit the goals and objectives of your retreat. Here at sparkspace, we can help you in facilitating the best retreat everAdding meeting facilitation from Team Sparkspace will strengthen the objectivity, focus, and creativity of discussion.

Three Team Outing Ideas in Downtown Columbus, Ohio

Three Team Outing Ideas in the Arena District

You’ve planned the perfect meeting and now it’s time to plan a memorable team outing for after the meeting. We are very lucky that our space is in the heart of the Arena District in Downtown Columbus. That means you’re close to some of the best restaurants and entertainment the city has to offer after your all-day meeting.

There’s nothing wrong with a team happy hour. However, we challenge you to go above and beyond.  We think putting a “twist” on the ordinary is what makes a meeting memorable. Read on for our favorite team and corporate outing ideas in Columbus, Ohio.


Columbus Clippers Baseball Game

Head over to Huntington Park for America’s greatest pastime with your team! The Columbus Clippers have ticket packages for groups as well as options to rent suites for corporate outings.

Want to do some team building during the game? Check out our blog post about structured play on how to enhance your outing.

Downtown Columbus Segway Tour

The staff at sparkspace can personally vouch for this team activity! We loved going for a guided Segway ride altogether when we went during a special “Holiday Lights” tour last December. This is perfect if you’re looking for a small group activity.

Tours begin at the Convention Center (a short walk from our space) where you receive Segway driving directions and go for a spin on their test course before you hit the road.

Tours take you through Downtown Columbus and the Short North. Your tour guide gives you some history of the city as well as a hefty dose of humor. We did this as a team and loved it!

Team sparkspace bundled up for the Segway Tour!

 

Nada Mexican Restaurant

Nothing brings people together like being gathered around the table with great food. Nada’s private party room provides an eclectic, communal feel along with their legendary tacos.

We love recommending team dinners in their private space because it’s a great atmosphere for conversation. Their private room can sit up to 24 at one large table or 30-35 guests in a standing, cocktail-style dinner with food displayed. The room is also equipped with AV equipment if you simply must continue your presentation from the day into dinner.

Nada private dining space

 

Looking for more fun group activities in Columbus, Ohio? Contact us to brainstorm or consult with the Columbus pros at Experience Columbus!