December 15, 2011

Idea Generation vs. Degenerate Ideas

I like brainstorming. I brainstormed for weeks before launching DefTechPR. I brainstorm all the time. With friends who are trying to amplify their businesses, with my colleagues who are developing new programs – alone or together, I like to hash things out.
This trait wasn’t something that was inherent to me. Quite the opposite in fact, because left to my own devices I am a modifier  - someone who takes what is familiar or proven to be successful and incrementally builds upon it for continued success. Brainstorming was a learned skill, one that was taught to me – and certainly part of the culture – at High Road Communications.
At this PR agency, brainstorming was ingrained into how we developed client strategies, created events, and executed launches. It was formalized through the parent-company Fleishman-Hillard and many of us were fortunate to be formally trained in how to conduct a successful brainstorm. That’s right; it’s not about getting a bunch of people in a room and shouting out random ideas. A successful brainstorm has structure to the development of ideas, productively expands upon concepts, and delivers a pre-defined outcome.
Brainstorming is one of the best ways to incorporate team-building into a business practice. It’s great for cross-functional conversations. And, it’s a perfect way to catalyze concepts with a number of different personality types. I love it when it’s done right.
Do you brainstorm at your office? How many have been productive? Do you know how to get the most out of the brainstorm? Share your experiences with me, I want to hear from you!
After all, we want to expect more than a "few sprinkles" of ideas. Like in this Mad Men episode (sorry, can't embed this one)!


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