September 4

“Two heads are definitely better than one and by sourcing ideas from each other, you have a better chance of coming up with a strategy that will allow your business to overcome a setback or challenge.” —Richard Branson

Think back to any team brainstorm you’ve ever been a part of. What happened? Probably some version of:

– Someone writes a problem (or project) on the board, then…

– They say “OK – who has an idea?”

And, sometimes that works really well, but sometimes it’s not so effective. Why? 

Because while some people thrive in those kinds of group settings, and come alive when put on the spot to generate ideas, others perform much better when given the time and the space to generate ideas on their own. One leader I met called these “fast twitch” and “slow twitch” people.

While fast twitch people get all of the attention in a group brainstorm, they don’t necessarily generate the best ideas. In order to unleash the potential of your entire team, you need a slightly different strategy.

The next time you have a group idea session planned, try this:

– Assign the problem to your team a few days in advance, and tell everyone to come to the session with a few ideas.

– At the meeting, ask someone to share an idea that they were particularly excited about.

– Once everyone’s had a chance to share, take the pulse of the group and see which ideas they’re most excited about.

Now, use the idea session to build on and refine those ideas.

A brainstorm is a seasonal process, not a one-time event. 

Question:  How should you change the way that you or your team generate ideas?

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