March 2011

Brainstorm Brief For Better Meetings

2017-08-21T17:05:13-04:00 Categories: create, Sand for Your Inbox, SandBlog, solve, think|Tags: , , , , , , , |

How would you like your brainstorm and strategy meetings to be more productive and efficient?

I got to thinking… we use a Creative Brief to provide background and clearly outline deliverables surrounding design projects… There should be a Brainstorm Brief to serve the same purpose for strategy and brainstorming meetings! So I created one.

The link below will let you download a Brainstorm Brief template. Use it as a pre-planner for your meetings. It will help you define the objectives, understand who to invite, identify what success looks like and how to measure it.

Brainstorm Brief
Brainstorm Brief Template

Give it a try. Let me know how it works for you. If you have additional elements to add, please let me know!

September 2009

Process + People + Place =
Perfect (Brain) Storm

2010-09-22T20:27:49-04:00 Categories: Destination|Tags: , , |

In June, I posted an article called How To Create The Perfect (Brain) Storm.

I shared the perspective that a great brainstorm or strategy session… heck ANY great meeting… is a combination of the right people, the right process, at the right place.

Upon exploring this thought further, I realized there is a priority to these elements… Not only are all three important, but they’re important in the right order.

When I turn the diagram sideways, you can see how they build on each other.

The PLACE is important… the space where people feel safe, free from distraction, and can be inspired.

However, the place is useless without PEOPLE to populate it. Yes, people are the ultimate source of brilliant ideas that lead to innovation, however, just sitting around winging-it (even in an inspirational space) won’t efficiently lead to the solutions you are after.

However, you gather these people in a place led by someone with the right PROCESS (includes tools), and you’ve got yourself a winner. The process forms the base, the strength of the entire process.

If you don’t have a good process figured out (or hired out) don’t bother meeting. All the great minds in even the most inspirational spot won’t make good use of your time.


I offer these thoughts as I’m crafting the Idea Sandbox Brainstorming Destination. I will provide the PROCESS and the PLACE, you provide the PEOPLE and the PROBLEM to be solved.

June 2009

How To Create The Perfect (Brain) Storm

2017-03-01T11:56:29-04:00 Categories: Destination, grow, SandBlog|Tags: , , |

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…

  1. the right people assembled,
  2. the right process and tools, and were,
  3. 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!