Have you ever been in a brainstorming or strategy meeting where all the elements seemed just right and ideas just kept flowing and flowing? You and your team were able to hit ideas “out of the park?”
Chances are you had…
- the right people assembled,
- the right process and tools, and were,
- in the right place… where people felt safe to think big ideas and were free from distraction.
I call these conditions the Perfect (Brain) Storm… When all the elements come together just so, and ideas just seem to flow.
What a great situation! However, the climate for this type of brainstorm and creating wicked good ideas doesn’t have to be left to chance. You can craft this by gathering the right people, with the right process, at the right place.
You need a skilled facilitator. Someone who can keep the team on track. Push when people aren’t opening up, and know – when the conversation is stalled or getting tangental – how to re-direct to the topic at hand.
This person leads the right group of people, who are in the right mind frame, and feel safe to think and suggest the big thoughts.
The problem you are trying to solve needs to be clearly defined. I strongly recommend structured sessions with an ice breaker, scheduled breaks, and short bursts of brainstorming activity. Each of these bursts should be designed to address a key aspect of the problem.
While great ideas can happen when you’re in the shower or driving to work… If you’re working with a group of two or more people, being in a space conducive for discussion, free of work distraction and “noise” ensure the ideas will come much, much easier.
Keep these in mind when you want to schedule your next Perfect (Brain) Storm!