To be in a problem-solving mode takes energy. One way to get energy is to realize you are part of a positive development, also when your week doesn’t feel like it. 

Every week, for a couple of minutes, the team shares the Happy Brains of the past week. We have done so for over a decade. Many Happy Brains have been shared. We listen to each other while one of us writes them on the white board with a big smiley, so that after ten minutes the board is full of accomplishments and positive reflections. Also when your own week has mostly been about non-functioning instruments, delayed materials or non-responding sales calls. 

I’m happy… the lab work for Company X has started, the report on Y is finished, the meeting with NN was good. I’m happy…. you came and helped me in the lab, and you could join the discussion with short notice. I’m happy… about the lecture you gave, for how you manage project X, for the good Wrap-Up and the cake! I’m happy… I had time to finally go through that pile of articles, that the lab is cleaned, that this book is being written… 

The activity provides a beautiful summary of what is going on for the team. Looking at the board you see the collective progress and what really matters to each and one. The activity gives energy to the team alignment meeting where potential conflicts and need for prioritizations or solutions can be raised. And when the meeting is over, the smiley and its Happy Brains are erased. 


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