Brilliant Brainstorming: The secret of generating new ideas
13th January 2010
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Being a creative thinker can be tough - I know that just trying to write this blog. Sometimes it feels just like walking through treacle. However, everyone can be a creative thinker; some may find it easier than others but everyone can do it.

The problem is that our brains think in set ways and that makes it difficult to flex our minds and generate new thinking, new ideas - to learn more about that problem click here. Finding ways to help flex our minds and turn the creative treacle into free flowing creative juice enables everyone to generate new ideas, even in brainstorming sessions.

Here are just a couple of ideas from the brainstorming perspective. You can learn more in “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Brainstorming

Guest Brainstormers and Diversity of Thought

We mentioned diversity in a previous posting. When you set up the brainstorming session bring in people with a different outlook and experience, they don’t have to be expert in the subject area; you probably already have a room full of those and that is the problem. Experts from the same group probably have similar outlooks and are unlikely to stimulate each other to new thinking. That is the role of the guest brainstormers, they bring their outside perspectives and these stimulate the experts to think differently.

Switching on the Creative Juices

Before you start working on the problem, do something to switch on the creative juices so that the brainstormers are able to flex their minds. It’s a bit like an athlete warming up.

Perhaps have a warm-up brainstorm on a frivolous subject, or provide external stimulation by playing a game of word association, or stimulate the right brain by playing  “Pictionary”, i.e. drawing the definition of words while the rest of the team works out what the word is. There are lots of such exercises that can limber up the creative “muscles”. Don’t be afraid of play and having fun, it will help increase your team’s creative effectiveness and thus the effectiveness of the brainstorming session.

That question of fun and play is an interesting one, they are central to people having creative thought, to generating the new ideas that are the seeds of innovation. On the other hand highly regulated boredom and stress quenches the flame of creativity and consigns us to the old thinking that we used to create the problem in the first place. 

What do you think?

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