“Does anyone have any ideas about how we can solve this problem?” Wayne asked. The team just sat there, staring at him with lizard eyes, fixated, motionless. Sure, it was Wednesday (hump day), but the atmosphere was limp.
It was like throwing a party where no one shows up. You think you have done your job as a manager, assembling the troops to solve a problem, but you get no response from the team.
It’s not lethargy and your people are not stupid. I find the biggest problem is fear. Fear that their idea will be seen as inadequate or silly.
Prime the pump. Simple solution. Pair everyone up. Have team members work two by two for a brief period of time (brief, like 45 seconds), then reconvene the group. Working in pairs takes the fear out. People can try on their thoughts in the privacy of a twosome before exposing the idea to the group. Primes the pump every time.