Last Updated on 11 August 2019

I often write in this space about problem solving techniques. I plan to do so today as well, but with a different spin.

When organizing a brainstorm or problem solving session, I always recommend taking great care when selecting the team of participants. Here are some tips…

  1. Make sure you include experts who know all about the topic – their subject matter expertise will be critical.
  2. Make sure you include people who know nothing about the topic, their naiveté will help ground the conversation.
  3. Include those who will ultimately implement the idea. As a marketer at Starbucks, when coming up with consumer promotion ideas that would be executed by store employees, getting input from the Operations team was invaluable to success.
  4. Most importantly however, make sure those invited don’t only attend the brainstorm session, but that they actively participate.

Someone who sits there, not participating, has become part of the problem. If they’re not adding value, there is a strong chance they’re only adding noise.

If you actively engage and add your voice, you can consider yourself part of the solution.

What’s more, you’ve earned the right to voice your opinion about the outcome after the fact. Participation is the price of criticism.


On Tuesday, November 4th, the United States is holding a nationwide problem solving session.

Your role as a citizen is to be an active participant. If you actively engage and add your VOTE, consider yourself part of the solution.

If you’re not happy with the outcome and didn’t participate, you’ve lost your right to criticize.

Your vote counts. Did you know ultimately 537 votes ultimately decided the outcome of the 2000 election?

I’m sending this message to you. You should send it to five more friends…

Five More Friends