Create a highly innovative team

How to free up significant amounts of time with a Zombie Campaign

The Aim



Pre-Zombie Week (2-3 weeks prior)

  1. Build suspense through team communications and artefacts signalling the ‘Zombies are coming’!
  2. Share your preferred Zombie collection tool with your team.
  3. Ask people to start looking for Zombies – processes, products, services, meetings or reports that no longer serve a valuable purpose or kill productivity. Then, have people add these to the list to be ‘killed’.
  4. Also, ask people to look for Vampires – things that are sucking the life out of people but may still have value for your company and should therefore be changed or resurrected so they can add value again. Ask people to add these to the list with suggestions on how to improve rather than ‘kill’.
  5. Send frequent reminders in the lead up to your designated Zombie week.
  6. Select your Zombie committee and schedule a time for them to meet towards the end of Zombie week. The time required for this will depend on the number of Zombies. We estimate around 2-3 hours. Your committee should be comprised of people with the appropriate authority to make decisions
  7. Schedule a time at the end of Zombie week for the ‘Killing Ceremony’. One hour should be enough time, depending on the number of Zombies you have decided to kill.
  8. Brief your Zombie committee and provide them with a clear criteria for making decisions. We suggest having criteria such as:
    1. How frequently does this Zombie occur? (eg daily, weekly, monthly, once in a blue moon)
    2. How frustrating is this Zombie? (eg very frustrating, a little bit frustrating or not frustrating at all). If high frequency and high frustration exists, the decision should be prioritised
    3. Are there any the cost considerations that need to be made?
    4. Are there any logistical considerations that need to be made?
    5. How simple is the decision to implement? If a decision is easy and cost effective to implement, don’t spend time overthinking it – do it!

During Zombie Week

  1. Allow your team to review all submitted zombies and vampires and vote on the most significant time suckers.
  2. Present the Zombies to the Zombie Committee, who will work through each item and decide whether to kill or pivot, then record the reasons for this decision. We recommend live updating of the spreadsheet during this process for ultimate transparency. Clear and objective criteria for decisions is important to avoid people taking any killings personally.
  3. Facilitate your Zombie ‘Killing Ceremony’ and create a symbolic way of doing this.
    1. EXAMPLE: Each zombie is depicted as a sunflower seed that is buried but brought with it new life and new possibilities
    2. EXAMPLE: Write each Zombie on a piece of paper that is ceremoniously shredded
  4. Ensure that throughout the ceremony, you communicate the ‘why’: Explain why something is being killed and what it will result in – i.e. more time to try new things!

After Zombie Week

    1. Share the results of the campaign to your business – what did you kill, what did you re-energise, and why? See if you can quantify each in terms of time/money saved and highlight the outcome.
        1. EXAMPLE – When we ran a Zombie Week with a client, 19 zombies were killed, resulting in significant financial savings and 75 hours a month of staff time being reclaimed for innovation.

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Forge an exceptionally innovative team by harnessing collective intelligence through shifting. Elevate success rates with pre-mortems, reclaim time via zombie campaigns, validate ideas through experiments, and uncover lucrative business prospects, fostering a culture of continuous and transformative growth.