Have you ever held a hackathon with everyone in your business?

Hackathons provide an amazing opportunity for businesses to innovate, create and strategise. Finding a date and time for creative problem solving and innovation is such a powerful tool under utilised by SMEs.

As a business owner, set half a day to a day, where you allow a group of people in your business to come up with new ideas that could benefit your business in the long run. Try not to be too restrictive on creativity and see if there’s an idea that you hadn’t thought of.

They key is to involve all those in your business, particularly key staff. Holding a hackathon for your business is a unique opportunity to:
– motivate staff.
– tap into creative ideas a business owner might not think of.
– identify talented staff.
– make for a good team building exercise.
–  help to cement a clear brand and messaging moving forward.
Mentored’s DO’s and DONT’s for holding an internal hackathon:

Don’t

  • let any one person dominate the conversation.
  • have overly restrictive rules.
  • forget to have a good record. You don’t want to have a day full of creativity and wonderful ideas, with no record of it.
  • let it go cold. Make sure you follow through with your best ideas.
  • expect people to focus on their day to day tasks. You have to set time aside for a hackathon, time away from normal operations. 
  • run out of food.

Do:

  • Include as many relevant people in your business as possible. There is strength in diversity of opinion and ideas.
  • Have a few clear topics you want to address at the hackathon: this can mean having a clear goal to better understand your business’ brand, by asking your employees what they think of it.
  • Have a rough agenda. If you have only set a day or half a day aside, you want to be as productive as you can.
  • Reward talent and innovation from your staff. 
  • Have a white board, paper and tools to encourage those creative juices. 

Leading into a new year, now might be a perfect time to get together with your team and brain storm, to kick off 2020 the right way.

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