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Great Minds Think Differently

March 4, 2011

The adage you typically hear is that great minds think alike, but in fact, the reason to gather a group of people is because the different ideas and points of view are highly valuable to the outcome.  Success can be hard to achieve when you work alone. I’ve often found that asking for one or two of my MarketWave team member’s opinions will present me with a totally different perspective on a project. Different thoughts and ideas can make a project go from good to great because you are open to another person’s input.  I like to think that the following three words are central to great things at work and at home: cooperation, collaboration and teamwork.

Brainstorming is one of the ways that the MarketWave team delivers creative and unique ideas. Brainstorming is something that we do several days a week. The session can be for a small project or it might relate to a more comprehensive integrated marketing campaign.

Here are a few simple, idea-generating steps we take when facilitating a brainstorm session:

1.     The more ideas the better. Be sure to write each and every idea down on a white board. Sometimes seeing a word can trigger a completely different thought.

2.     Limit the session to 30-60 minutes. By setting a reasonably short time frame, you can hold participants attention and keep the ideas flowing.

3.     Send a project summary. Provide any background information that can jump start the creative process, before the session as a pre-read.

4.     Note taking. Assign a team member to take notes. It’s hard to lead a session and keep ideas flowing if you’re worried about capturing every little thing. Once the session is complete, you will want to review the notes and determine your best ideas and next steps.

5.     Lots of chocolate. Everyone likes chocolate. Serotonin has been found to stimulate the brain.

You’ll be amazed at what ideas can come from team collaboration. Remember the next time you need a second opinion, or five or six, gathering a group together can be worth the investment of everyone’s time.

How do you brainstorm in your company?

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