Brainstorming: a potent mix of science, freedom, and a little bit of magic
I met a friend of a friend at a coffee shop last week and was introduced as The Brainstorming Queen (a title I really love a lot). Turns out he has been in the corporate world for years, and he said: “Of the things I’ve done at work, brainstorming is my all-time favorite.” This is a comment I hear a lot, and I started thinking about what makes ideation so enjoyable.
As I mulled it over, I think ideation at a meta-level is a combination of three things: science, freedom, and magic. Let me explain.
We’ve learned so much about creativity, group dynamics, and particularly neuroscience since brainstorming was invented in the 1950s. There have been studies to understand creativity, and we now know the factor that is most predictive of possessing talent. It’s simply the belief that you are creative. This finding underscores one of my core beliefs: everyone is a creative genius buried under loads of barriers produced by education and societal norms.
The human brain is meaning-driven. As it takes in new information, the brain attempts to match it with prior understanding. This means the brain is really good at Binding patterns and making connections. Better Ideaz™ Brainstorming works simply because it gives the brain what it craves – unexpected stimulation that automatically triggers creativity.
Most of us spend our work life in organizations requiring order, control, and predictability. We mostly stay inside the box, excel at our job descriptions, and choose to be team players to get ahead. Playing it safe might be a smart strategy most of the time, but not when it comes to innovation. Better Ideaz provides a safe space where participants can say aloud whatever their minds want to express. During brainstorming, we are not interested in the “Can we do it now?” question. As Thomas Edison said, the best way to end up with good ideas is to create lots of them. That requires freedom to be chaotic, messy, and uncertain.
This quality is a bit harder to pin down, but I have seen it numerous times during brainstorming sessions. There is fun and laughter, permission and openness, growing confidence and expansion. When I’m at the head of the table, I can literally feel an increased energy and belief in the individual and team’s latent creative ability. Remember...the best predictor of creative ability is the belief you have it. When people see their brilliant output drawn on the wall and the hot dot votes pointing the way to genius ideas, magic is the best word to express the joy in the room.
Driven to Succeed, LLC is here to help facilitate your next brainstorming session. We'll uncover the unique strengths within your team and guide you toward a more effective approach. Contact us now to schedule a meeting and make your next brainstorming session nothing short of epic.
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