Brainstorming or group think? Recent articles like this one by Rebecca Greenfield for Fast Company point out some of the challenges with brainstorming. In a group session,
(1) early ideas are more likely to take hold, “anchoring” the focus and limiting innovation, and
(2) she who speaks the softest isn’t heard, or the corollary: the loudest take over, also limiting innovation
Some suggestions for better and more thorough idea generation:
In a group: Try brainwriting, named by UT Arlington Professor Paul Paulus — participants write down ideas first, then share in round-table fashion and discuss.
I’ve used this brainwriting with a lot of success in groups, particularly when applying a next-level technique for Consensus Validation, a process developed by former University of Pennsylvania Professor Dr. William Wilkinsky. It’s powerful and it works because it ensures contributions from everyone equally, regardless of personal communication style or volume of voice.
Working individually to think through an idea? Try mind-mapping, a technique that connects with how the mind works and allows the creativity to flow.
Working with a Coach or in tandem? Try collaborative mind-mapping to get brilliance out of your heads and –in an intentionally thought-through way– into the world.
For more on mind-mapping and collaborative mind-mapping, you can use my go-to resource: Coach Linda DeLuca at PresentationYOU. Sign up on her site and you’ll get a 5-piece toolkit including mind-mapping – for free!
Photo: Crowned Crane. This fella joined me for breakfast daily in Burundi.