Is Spring Forward Monday an idea whose time has come?

Spring ForwardSpring Forward Monday is a very interesting concept but I can't take credit for it. Dr. Scott Simmerman, the founder of Performance Management Company, has been blogging and tweeting to propose impromptu events for companies to celebrate Daylight Savings Time, first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, a British entomologist living in New Zealand. (Germany and Austria-Hungary were the first to implement it on April 30, 1916.)

Scott's vision is for companies to devote quality time every year on the first Monday after Daylight Savings Time to:

  • generating performance improvement ideas
  • celebrating employee engagement

I like it. It's a refreshing change in an era in which the term "team building" has been "dumbed down" to mean everything from going for drinks after work to base-jumping off tall buildings.

What would Spring Forward Monday look like? It's a blank canvas so it will mean different things to different companies. These impromptu events would have 2 main components:

  • brainstorming in small teams to generate new ideas to "spring forward" (i.e. boost team and company performance or resolve specific business issues
  • finding a creative way to surprise and thank work teams
     

Here are my thoughts on how it could come together.

Brainstorming

Pull the team together for an hour or more. Keep it light, upbeat and fun. Provide light refreshments, scented markers, florescent post-it notes, flip charts, and colored paper. Either pre-assign an area of focus or give the team 10 minutes to work in pairs  or trios to create mind maps or idea chains to identify issues of concern. Then, use a variety of brainstorming tools or create collages or infographics to generate solutions. Perhaps end with a force field analysis to identify the ideas that have the most merit. For event planners, this is the perfect time to come up with new ideas for events or strategies to improve existing programs. 

Then, let the celebration begin.

Celebration!

Ideas for celebration that managers can pull together on short notice include making fudge, a shopping cart dash, afternoon tea, a baking challenge, creating art work and donating it to charity, planting flowering plants in pots that can be transplanted to a company garden when the weather is warm, or, simply sharing a cake. Pick something the team enjoy sand spend an hour or so sharing the experience together. It doesn't have to involve a lot of money. (Re-call Cvent Blog's recent post Event Design Inspiration from Canadian Brands.)

Scott articulates his vision here.

For more information, consult Scott Simmerman's Spring Forward Monday blog post.

Every year at the same time that clocks are re-set, Spring Forward Monday may be just the impetus that companies need to re-capture the very essence of team building.

Perhaps, this be followed up with a similar event Fall Back Friday, the day before clocks are re-set to standard time. It would be a chance for companies and work teams to assess their progress, re-chart their course if necessary, and fall back in line towards achieving their objectives. Now just maybe that is an idea for which I can take credit.

Photo Credit: tenchi042

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