As Einstein once famously was misquoted as saying “ Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.’” (apparently, it was a mystery novelist by the name of Rita Mae Brown that came up with that ) .  So why then, do we brainstorm the same way over and over again and expect to come up with new ideas/solutions? It is, as my friend Rita would say “insanity!”

Here are some reasons why brainstorming kills the creative process

  • After about ten minutes the ideas dry up – so where do you go from there?
  • It’s usually the loudest team members that get their ideas up with the quieter ones being ‘shouted down’ or ignored.
  • Good ideas are often forgotten or overlooked.
  • Same old boring ideas get tabled (this used to drive me nuts when I worked in a creative agency).
  • The same people are usually in attendance – you need fresh minds to create fresh ideas!
  • Many of the current brainstorming methods impede the creative thought process.

Having run many creative facilitation workshops over the years, I’ve developed and borrowed some great ways to help draw out the best ideas from people. It’s not rocket science, but it does work.

  • Get a diverse mix of staff – not just middle and upper management. Your clients are also a good option so you can see the ‘other side’ of things.
  • Set up the environment so that it is conducive to creative thought. Colour, images, alternative venue, outdoors – anything to break up the boredom and enhance the creative process!
  • Our best ideas come after we’ve had a decent amount of rest. Work through your challenge or issue and then forget about it. After some time has passed, try tackling it again with a fresh pair of eyes
  • Try ‘Extreme Scenarios’ – Sackable Offences, What If, Word Association, A Day in the Life of – these can be really entertaining, but also unearth some real issues or provide insight and information to improving various elements of the business.

Dare to run your next idea generation session (we don’t do brainstorming at Luminus League differently and watch the ideas flow!

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