I like the idea of having a stuffed animal character included. Not center stage. Just present, at times, to help push things in the right direction. Give him a cigarette holder and make everybody feel important when he's on screen.
I got a buddy, Lou, he's good with socks. I'll bring him on board. Let him sit by the doorway during meetings. Then when it's time to serve the bread, there's old Lou. Silent, with a smile, handing you a bowl of good bread.