I’m about to work through the visioning process of developing a new product. My daughter and I have had a passion for something and will soon get together to meld our ideas into a baseline, a platform and visioning program for the concept. Brainstorming is exhilarating for me. I once heard a quote that went something like this, “The best fun is good work.” I believe it! There is an excitement around possibility and creativity, especially when collaborating with others, which feeds my soul. I recently attended a leadership session on effective brainstorming and I want to share a few points that impressed me:
- Put someone in charge. Not always necessary though it can be good to have an outside organizer. This way everyone is on an equal footing in the session. Turn off the cell phones.
- No idea is a bad idea. Avoid judging ideas. This is a collection point. The most sensational ideas can lead to revolutionary products and services. Number the ideas for later culling. No striking at this point. Keep the juices flowing.
- Have a goal. What problem are you solving?
- Establish a time limit. Begin and end when you say you will.
- Avoid group thinking because the loudest person will usually get the most weight.
- Find a way to get people to say what they are thinking.
- Physically move about in the session to generate energy.
- Have an action plan for the ideas generated.
When the HerSavvy bloggers were thinking about the blog, we had members among us who were experienced in leading groups through the process. We had a fabulous time over several sessions of getting our ideas out, and visioning our goals for the blog. It was team building to say the least. We created a mission and vision statement and talked about the various aspects of being in a business arrangement together. Planning and processing our thoughts around the blog helped each of us get to what was important for ourselves. It was solidifying in the desire to go forward for some and for others it helped them determine that they did not have the scheduling room or desire to continue at the time. Having a formal session to get to the good ideas, and other sessions to mold the concepts and formulate plans is smart business.
Renee is the executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville, a member based organization. In addition to growing private support for the trails and green spaces, she enjoys oil painting, hiking, nature and working in the garden. Renee is married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932 by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.
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