We always want to do better, right? Make more money, learn new skills, feel good about accomplishing more—and make things easier in the process.
But continuous improvement doesn’t happen without effort or new ways of doing things. When the schedule gets a little too ordinary, you have to mix it up. Try a new exercise, take a new route to work, visit a different restaurant or library branch— for me, any experience that shakes things up expands my horizons and changes my perspective.
Continuous improvement is likely one of your club’s values too. When you find that the club routine is a little too routine, make room for new ideas, perspectives and improvements.
Start with your meetings. Try these activities to inject some energy.
1- This & That
Time: 20–30 minutes
Purpose: Strengthen teamwork
Tell club members that a team is not transformed overnight. Improvement is gradual and continuous. Teamwork is a process of becoming “more of THIS and less of THAT.”
Ask members to identify the THIS (the positive attributes the club needs to exhibit) and the THAT (the negative attributes that you need to leave behind). Instruct them to write down their thoughts before sharing with the club.
Write THIS and THAT on the top of two separate sheets of flipchart paper. Encourage everyone to add as many ideas as they can to each list based on their individual notes.
For example, club members might identify “trust” as a THIS and “distrust or suspicion” as a THAT. A future activity could be based on establishing and building trust.
This activity can also help a new leadership team establish group expectations.
2- 60-second brainstorm
Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: Generate ideas and promote creative thinking
Brainstorming is a way of tossing ideas around to come up with the solution to a problem, to develop a creative service project...or just to think.
Divide your club into groups of 5 to 10 members each. Give every group a piece of paper and a writing utensil, and have each group select someone to do the writing. Give them a topic and a goal to come up with items within that topic.
The objective is to be as creative as possible—quantity, not quality—is most important. You will go through and find the quality after the initial brainstorm. Set a timer for 60 seconds and then read off the topic. Start with off-the-wall topics and then lead into those that are important to your club.
Example topics include:
- Uses for a refrigerator
- Reasons to climb a tree
- Ways to recruit new members
- Ideas for making meetings more fun
3- Bumper stickers
Time: 15–20 minutes
Purpose: Promote positive feelings about the club
People use bumper stickers as a way to tell others about their feelings, beliefs, causes and sources of pride. Ask club members to think of some memorable bumper stickers they’ve seen around town.
Share the following examples if bumper stickers don’t easily come to mind:
- “Do not believe in miracles—rely on them.”
- “To be loved, be lovable.”
- “My kid is an honor student at _______.”
Divide the club into smaller discussion groups of 4 to 5 people. Tell them they’re in a competition for the best bumper sticker promoting the club’s values. They can use a quotation from a famous person, a tag line from a product (i.e., Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign), or their own inspiration.
Give the groups just 10 minutes to brainstorm a list and choose their favorite slogan. Ask everyone to share those favorites.3
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