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The Myth of the Brainstorming Session

Steps of the creative process

  1. Preparation: individual study to focus your mind on the problem;
  2. Incubation: the problem enters your unconscious mind and nothing appears to be happening externally;
  3. Intimation: you get a “feeling” that a solution is on the way;
  4. Illumination: your creative idea moves to conscious awareness;
  5. Verification: your idea is consciously verified, expanded upon, and then executed.

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The Myth of the Brainstorming Session

The Myth of the Brainstorming Session

https://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2013/11/03/myth-brainstorming-session-best-ideas-dont-always-come-meetings/

thenextweb.com

3

Key Ideas

The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:

  • Defer judgment (don’t get upset when people say bad ideas).
  • Reach for quantity (come up with as many ideas as possible).

Obstacles to an effective brainstorming:

  • Fear of judgment from people in positions of power;
  • Extroverts take center stage;
  • Groups hate scary ideas, even it they're great ones;

Steps of the creative process

  1. Preparation: individual study to focus your mind on the problem;
  2. Incubation: the problem enters your unconscious mind and nothing appears to be happening externally;
  3. Intimation: you get a “feeling” that a solution is on the way;
  4. Illumination: your creative idea moves to conscious awareness;
  5. Verification: your idea is consciously verified, expanded upon, and then executed.

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Re-conceptualize the problem

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If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Introverted vs. extroverted people

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There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. If you are emotionally unstable, being an introvert can become the biggest enemy of your progress in life.
There’s a big difference between being an introvert and being afraid of public speaking, meeting people and speaking up when necessary. Social anxiety is not introversion, it’s a fear you must face and overcome.
Thinking before speaking and acting
  • Make sure that you speak up when you have something important to say. 
  • Take advantage of your ability to observe other people, the environment you’re in and the energy flow in the room.
  • People will pay more attention to what you say when you do speak up.
  • You probably have the ability to study things better and faster, so when you do say something make sure that it’s an eye-opener.
  • People will trust you more and thus you’ll have access to more privileged information.

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The Better Mind Map
The Better Mind Map

Combining the Mind Map Technique with the Creativity Triggers Technique.

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  • Write your design challenge or problem in the center of a blank piece of paper and circle it.
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Diving and swimming

This technique requires 2 steps:

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Exaptation

This is the ability to reach beyond a specific field of expertise and create new uses for an older thing. It’s about taking one thing and using it for a different purpose than intended.

For example: Apply a cooking recipe to a marketing strategy or use a spreadsheet program to organize words for your poetry.

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Brainstorming

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Brainstorming for problem solving
  • It brings team members' diverse experience into play. It increases the richness of ideas explored, which means that you can often find better solutions.
  • It can help you get buy-in from team members for the solution chosen – after all, they're likely to be more committed to an approach if they were involved in developing it. 
  • It helps team members bond, as they solve problems in a positive, rewarding environment.
Why individual brainstorming might bring better results
  • groups aren't always strict in following the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors creep in
  • people pay so much attention to other people that they don't generate ideas of their own – or they forget these ideas while they wait for their turn to speak. 

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A brief overview of brainstorming

The brainstorming process was popularized in the 1950s by Alex Osborn, an advertising executive at Barton, Batton, Durstine, & Osborn (BBDO).

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Principles of brainstorming
  • Generate as many ideas as possible. For the purposes of this exercise, quantity is more important than quality.
  • Don’t judge any ideas until the session is over. People will hold back if they think they may be judged negatively.
  • Encourage people to think outside of the box. Although wild ideas may not be feasible, they steer the conversation in new directions.
  • Combine ideas. Encouraging people to build off one another makes it easier for them to contribute and boosts team morale.
Work alone—together

Give people time to think by themselves prior to the brainstorm, so everyone has a chance to take his or her thought process in a unique direction.

A potential consequence of brainstorming is convergent thinking: the tendency for individuals’ ideas to become increasingly similar over the course of a brainstorming session.

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Being an introvert
Being an introvert has nothing to do with being shy.

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Deal With Being an Introvert
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  • Ask yourself throughout the day: is this activity giving me energy or draining me? 
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  • Self-esteem is great if you earn it. But if you have no gas in the car, faking your gas gauge won’t make the car run longer.
Gets things done as an introvert
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  • Talk with friends who can help if you think the idea is starting to gain traction.

  • Focus your execution efforts on the things you're skilled at and hire or outsource the other things.

  • Work with people who are good at what they do, so you can be good at what you do.

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Define Ownership

Ownership and accountability need to be defined so that your team knows who is responsible for what.

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If you’re waiting for someone to give you the right training to change your job or do something radically different in life you will wait forever. 

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Learning is not a rigidly formal system of precisely labeled steps.

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