Unleashing creativity in hybrid teams with Elise Keith and Dave Mastronardi

Elise Keith and Dave Mastrionardi are running a massive global experiment to define the new rules for work. 

They’re asking questions about how teams can work best now that we’re managing distance, and co-location. 

With Elise’s experience in running meetings that work, and Dave’s background in consulting using games, this conversation was bound to be incredibly interesting for leaders in hybrid workplaces. 

So many great ideas came out of this conversation, I am thrilled to share it with you. 

Here are a few of their very practical insights: 

  • Make it a game – games work because we give ourselves over to play – games offer a clear set of boundaries and lightened consequences

  • You have to be intentional – look specifically at the work, the context, and the best way to achieve it and be intentional about how to run the meeting

  • Gather with a purpose regardless of location – purpose matters more than location

  • Attend to the basics – Why are people there? What are you trying to achieve? How long have you been expected to spend? What is their role?

  • Set up a buddy system – It’s very hard to pay attention to everything equally and manage the discussion fairly. Buddies for remote team members can solve this.

  • Give people jobs – People should have jobs to do. If you want people to be engaged, they should have active participant jobs, even if that is writing notes or being the ‘vibes watcher’ – monitoring whether something needs to be called out

  • Set context – It might be a little counterintuitive, but you’ve got to go slow to go fast. Set context so you can stay aligned as the meeting progresses.

  • Break into groups to address different parts – This actually saves you time because the smaller groups get to participate, for example to work out their differences

  • Prioritise your issues – Solve three issues in smaller groups, come back and address the next three

  • Don’t call a meeting if it’s just for information – When you’re bringing people together you need to decide, am I going to be able to give them something to do?

  • Refine your meeting skills – Leading effective creative meetings, and meetings in general, is a leadership skill. 

Take a listen to the podcast to understand the context behind these tips and hear more details on how you can action them. 


“I think games work because we give ourselves over to [them], we give ourselves over to play.” Dave Mastrionardi

Key moments

1:20 – How Elise got interested in meetings

2:16 – Why do games work?

4:11 – The beauty of gamifying work tasks, why that works

5:13 – Why it matters to be free of an inconsequential mindset

6:26 – The massive global experiment on new rules for work

8:46 – The gap between the business press and practical experience of creativity online

11:30 – The importance of finding the practical implications for online creativity through robust research

14:58 – What might the new rules of work be?

17:18 – Keys to successful hybrid work – a mindset of being intentional and pulling from available data

18:48 – The power of choice for workplace satisfaction

21:44 – One key recommendation for meeting organisers to focus on

24:08 – Why setting context is important

31:04 – Breaking a team into smaller groups to reduce the time to reach decisions

36:51 – Meetings as a key responsibility of great leaders

39:39 – You can’t read your way to meeting success

Connect with Elise


Lucid Meetings

Connect with Dave



The Workplace Makers podcast explores workplace making – building modern workplaces that people are drawn to, wherever they work from

Workplace Makers – the podcast about people building workplaces that attract a crowd

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