‘The Brainstorm’ and why your umbrella of introversion won’t protect you.

I’m no fan of meetings, but I’m even less impressed with being called into a ‘brainstorm’.

Insultingly, I’m usually the kind of person who gets and invite too, I’m told it’s because I can give the Gen Y perspective, but I really think it’s because I’m the only guy who will spend more than $20 on a haircut - this being a primary indicator that you have the right cross section of opinion.

I’ve never been in a brainstorm where I’ve left radiating ‘think-tank’ satisfaction. When you conduct a meeting where any idiot has equal floor-time on a topic they might know nothing about, it is the word equivalent of paintball with Parkinson’s disease.

I found some tips for brainstorming. Let’s read them now…together.

1. Set directions. Describe the situation and define the problem.

Why are we here? Why can’t we leave? I would agree this is a good place to start to prevent busy people chewing through their own leg to leave.

2. Involve everyone. Encourage everyone to contribute.

Regardless of how unqualified I am to have an opinion on syncing your menstruation cycles with your diet, damn it, I’ve got something to say!

3. Encourage cross-fertilization. Build on each other. Let others' ideas take you somewhere else.

This sounds like a euphemism for plagiarism. Ensure all employees have up-to-date intellectual property clauses in their contracts.

4. Encourage outside-the-box thinking. Challenge assumptions. Be creative. Go crazy.

You do have to be a little bit crazy to be an innovator. I have that written above my desk. In faeces.

5. Suspend judgment. No ideas are bad ideas. All ideas are good ideas.

Isn't it likely that bad ideas are what gave rise to the necessity for a brainstorm? So yes, there are bad ideas and I’ll tip that the person who called the meeting is full of them.

6. Don't fear repetitions.

...Unless you have something besides a brainstorm to complete in your working day.

7. Don't fear repetitions

See? What a waste of time that was.

8. Don't stop and discuss. Go for quantity, not quality.

Yep, that’s right. Don’t explore the merits of a path of logic just keep firing off your innovation blanks into the air.

And at the end of it all, you’ll have wasted a day and I suspect time constraints will make at least one rotten idea seem doable.


Kate.Elinore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate.Elinore said...

Thank you. This article just took my last meeting from a gentle patter to a tidal wave of ideas. It was like that photo where a woman is eating noodles in flood conditions.

I take food in to meetings.

Kate.Elinore said...

Furthermore. This: http://tomfishburne.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/2010-Cartoons/G0000OHaNzghvFQk/I0000TY8iRW1yf3Q

Jordan Kerr said...

She just keeps eating.

Post a Comment