The word brainstorming has gotten a bad rap from some who write on the www. The problem they seem to have is that their experiences with the subject have been the antithesis of purposeful brainstorming.
So I propose to use ‘idea generation’ instead of brainstorming. That is the purpose of most brainstorming sessions any way.
A good idea generation session has a clear goal but also leaves lots of room for playing around with ideas and exploring several different avenues that turn up.
A good idea generation session also will produce some ideas and directions that seem immediately applicable while others should be put in the parking lot to be reintroduced and explored at a next meeting.
Sooner or later every business person starts to wonder if they are losing their touch or getting too complacent. People buy based on differences not sameness. You and your company must constantly strive to stand out, to be viewed as a resource, not just a supplier.
A commodity is an item that is undifferentiated in the mind of the potential customer. If it isn’t viewed as any different from any other in its class then the customer will choose the lowest cost, the cheapest. That is the recipe for sliding down the slippery slope of less and less profit.
So instead choose the goal to be viewed as innovative, differentiated, something or someone special.
Innovation is in everyone’s grasp. It is not limited to the birthright of a few ‘creatives.’
Use any of the ideas in Power Brainstorming, the book, or that you will read in this blog to get the creative juices flowing.
Let’s start with diversity, diversity of thinking styles and backgrounds. Us humans tend to filter out so much of our environment that it is easy to miss some good nuggets. Different backgrounds and thinking styles mean observing or noticing different elements. It also means that the same element can elicit a very different response or thought process. I do an exercise in some of my onsite seminars where each person starts with the same word and then lists word connections. Even a common word will elicit very different streams of connected words from participants who may work together every day.
This exercise when applied to your product or customer or event will start you off on the creativity to innovation track.
I’d love to receive comments as I am starting up this blog. What techniques do you use to brainstrom? How often do you do brainstorming?