Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And I Thought I was Good at Brainstorming

It has always come so naturally to me. To get a few people together into one place and then have everyone throw their ideas around. I would dominate, using others' ideas and improving them (or reducing them, heh), and also jumpstarting the discussion by throwing in some stupid ideas at the beginning.

Alex Osburn, who came up with the idea of brainstorming in 1957, suggested such throwing around of ideas have only four rules:
  • Don't criticize.
  • Quantity is wanted.
  • Combine and improve suggested ideas.
  • Share ALL ideas that come to mind.
If I could, I would add these two as well:
  • Listen.
  • Be positive. (until later, much later, when you have more than enough ideas.)
But the problem I've had since a long time now is that people here don't do such activities in groups. Those that do it in groups never listen to each other, and never bend to each other's wills. Then through failed layers of democracy and voting with disagreement, an idea is accepted by a group or a committee, often half-heartedly. Naturally, that affects the ultimate goals of the entire exercise, or whatever the idea is being used for.

The issue they need to understand is that creativity comes ad libitum: by being spontaneous and impromptu. A person can't sit alone at his desk and generate slogans, tag-lines, new names for products or services, or company names, or design. In this regard, I'm curious myself about how creative people function - especially in a corporate environment. Now, you can't book the meeting room each time you have to send one idea high up and can't decide between 20 ideas (only to receive a disdainful no every time).

But I'm confused, and as usual, this post doesn't serve to explain but to confuse further. I think great ideas come to you when your concentration is at its peak. Your concentration is at its peak when your presence of mind is at its height. And when it is at its height, you are most likely to be in the shower or taking a dump. You've gotta be peaceful!

On a similar note, here's a list of AMAZING tools to feed our creativity.

1 comment:

JHON said...

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