If your company is like most companies we have worked with, its brainstorming sessions leave something to be desired. Yes, ideas are bandied about and, yes, coffee is consumed and jokes are made. And, yes, people incessantly check their email under the table. THIS JUST IN! Brainstorming sessions can be a lot more powerful than that.
To goose you on your way, here are four brief blog posts and a video of ours on the art and science of brainstorming. If you could use some more help in this arena, we are available. Our Conducting Genius training is top of the line. Click here if you want to get the ball rolling. Or leave a message for us: 845.679.1066
The DNA of Brainstorming and the Power of Three
Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session
Why Leaders Shouldn't Lead Brainstorming Sessions
The 10 Personas of an Effective Brainstorm Facilitator
VIDEO: Preparing the Ground
Every brainstorm session you will ever facilitate or attend, like any good movie you will ever see, can be divided into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. No matter what the topic, who's in the room, or how stale the muffins, you will cycle through the same three phases again and again. How well you will cycle through these phases is another story.
Some years ago, there was a big problem at one of America's most treasured monuments -- the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.
Simply put, birds -- in huge numbers -- were pooping all over it, which made visiting the place a very unpleasant experience.
Attempts to remedy the situation caused even bigger problems, since the harsh cleaning detergents being used were damaging the memorial.
Fortunately, some of the National Parks managers assigned to the case began asking WHY -- as in "Why was the Jefferson Memorial so much more of a target for birds than any of the other memorials?"
The above image is a good metaphor for business. There's something hidden in it that most people don't see at first glance. Looking at it the same way you always look at things won't help. If you can't see what's hidden, you've got to find a way to adjust the way you look...
Most people think that the ability to be innovative is a mystical state available only to the chosen few.
The effort, they imagine, takes a lot of time and hard work. And since they don't have time and don't like hard work, they reason that innovation just isn't in the cards for them.
But innovation is not a mystical state. It's a natural state -- a human birthright. The people in your organization, in fact, already are innovative. The only thing is: their natural ability to be innovative is being obscured by their own habits of mind and a variety of bothersome organizational constraints.
1."Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
2. "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth -- not going all the way, and not starting." - Buddha
3. "Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." - Meister Eckhart
4. "All great ideas and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning." - Albert Camus
5. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu
6. "Beginnings are always messy." - John Galsworthy
7. "When there is a start to be made, don't step over! Start where you are." - Edgar Cayce