What is your favorite holiday?
You said Christmas, didn’t you?
Or Fourth of July or Easter or Halloween. Really, any major holiday (except Valentines Day; nobody really likes that ish).
As the Culture & Care Specialist here at dear ole CTC, one of the ways I care for our team is by making sure that we don’t get so caught up in work that we forget to play. Play is, after all, where creativity flows. It’s a mutually beneficial set-up, I would say.
But...planning celebrations that people can spot coming from a mile away...where’s the fun in that? Secrets & surprises are soooo much more enjoyable. This is where creativity in culture and event planning comes to life.
Here is some food-for-thought on how you can capitalize on the element of surprise in your work environment:
- Find unexpected reasons to celebrate
Like I said, there will always be a well-known holidays begging to celebrated, but let’s not forget the beauty of the underdog… International Women’s Day, National Breakfast for Dinner Day, and American MLB Opening Day are all perfect examples of underdog holidays. No one thinks they can be great. But YOU, culture creator and event planning extraordinaire, can give them the spotlight they deserve.
- Find plots twists for traditional celebrations
Even though I’m a fan of the underdog, I would never discriminate against a party. With that said, I’m also not down for repeating the same. exact. events. every. year. Another Thanksgiving potluck? I can only eat so much sweet potato casserole, Karen. Challenge yourself to shake it up by identifying an aspect of a traditional celebration that is often overlooked. Here’s an example from this past quarter…
Valentines Day rolls around. So many iconic approaches begging to be taken. Flowers! Chocolate! Hearts! Oh my! It wouldn’t quite be Valentine’s Day without those, now would it? But will we settle for an approach that lacks a challenge? NO WE WILL NOT!
My solution was to incorporate some mystery. Rather than focusing on the romantic aspect of V-Day, I chose to go the admiration route. As a self-professed lover of secrets & surprises, I felt compelled to incorporate secret admirer into the day. Everyone in the office received the name of another coworker who they then wrote a note of admiration to. These secret admirer notes were distributed, and anyone who could correctly guess their admirer won a pair of crazy socks. Boom.
- Commit to thinking divergently
I touched on this in my previous example, but point I would like to drive home here in the home stretch is that creativity is driven by thinking divergently. Generate new, fresh approaches to any project you’re tackling by asking questions such as
What are things that have already been done in this scenario?
What are things that have never been tried in this scenario?
What is an element in this scenario that can be leveraged in a new way?
What elements from other scenarios can be incorporated into this one?
Start flexing your divergent thinking, and I can guarantee you, you’ll avoid having an office party like this….