Forecast: Brainstorm

By: Gabe Rocha

As a business, your ability to come up with new ideas (as well as rejuvenate some old ones) is essential. For ideas to trickle down into existence, every idea awaiting to be discovered starts with a good ‘ol fashioned brainstorm. However, the brainstorming cloud seems to run dry from time to time. Whether for yourself or for your team, for a higher chance of precipitation – keep in the mind the following…

First and foremost: There are no “bad ideas!”

I don’t know about you, but for me, when ‘sharing ideas with others’ comes to mind, I can’t help but begin to overthink. Thoughts that arise are, “Don’t look stupid.” And “Don’t sound stupid.” And of course, “Don’t be stupid.” And even sometimes, “Well, that’s kind of a smart idea… for someone stupid!” Maybe it’s our shy inner child clawing away at us from the inside due to wanting to sound “smart.” Or our naive inner child wanting to give an immediate answer to a company problem; but brainstorming isn’t a time to be self-conscious. Why?

To drive this point home: Again, there are no “bad ideas!”

Bad ideas are just as good as good ideas. “Bad ideas,” yes, now in quotes, can give you a direction NOT to go in. And therefore, can make the path towards a more conclusive answer that much more obvious. Share every thought that comes! Just keep in mind all ideas, “good” or “bad” are just ideas. And any idea can lead to a new idea and thus a “better” idea.

Second: Squeeze the cloud dry

To keep the brainstorming session thunderous and effective, once a “good idea” begins to form, whether in a group or alone, expand on it. Don’t just write the idea down and move on. Explore it. Add to it. Play with it. See what additional drizzle can occur. Most often than not, you can turn an A idea into an A+ idea.