Before making false and anticipated judgments about this humble text, let me explain you. The following story will only attempt to justify or explain why the so-called AKA brainstorming is so important. Confused?
Well, that is how it always should be! A bit confusing or deregulated without commas, points, without breathing, only with ?!?, exclamations and / or interrogations and perhaps a period at the end. Or three points…
And why? Because the more open the creative process is, the more life it brings to a project; and the more extensive that moment is, the richer the result.
When they invited me to write about a “free” topic, offering me to choose among several proposed topics, I did not hesitate. Brainstorming has the power of any dichotomy: it scares while seducing. Finally, I got to the point. Pen in hand, with a sheet of white paper (yes, I wrote an old-fashioned pseudo draft)…
It seemed to me that this might be strange: how to write about a topic that really does not have a topic in itself? Did I choose to write about a hollow issue? What should I write in order to give a subject to the topic? Is it better to write about the brainstorming process? About the purpose, usage or techniques?
Rules about brainstorming. I really don’t think they exist. But surely there are ideas.
An idea arises. An epiphany, the desired moment of any storm, the thread that, if all goes well, will be the model for the project: a text that will be a brainstorming in itself.
So, and given that one of the key recipes at an early stage of any project is to take as many ideas as possible, I will try to list and not forget all the ideas of ideas:
Notwithstanding brainstorming should be individual or in a team (preferred option), it is mandatory to expose every idea, whether they are valid, stupid, absurd, happy or unhappy. Solutions, problems, experiences, stories, connections or disconnections are welcome when it comes to starting to sow the meaning of a particular project. At this stage, it is not important what will be used for the result. The key is to expose all ideas because, who tells a story adds a point, that is, who shares ideas connects, resizes, recognizes, and merges the information it receives. Geometry already tells us that two points form a line, and that a line and a point form a plane. Therefore, more ideas means more connections; more connections, means more shapes, stronger geometries, and more structured is the network of ideas. Structured, but not closed. And that is essential. To enter and leave a brainstorming with the most flexible and complex rhizome plan possible.
Now, excuse me. I´m going to explain because I received “instructions”… What in brainstorming may be undesirable: these “instructions”, especially at an early stage where everything must be free, where the rules or formulas of conditioning must be set aside. I would even say that, whenever possible, it should develop within a healthy anarchy, where each participant goes to the conversation and can still stumble or fail.
Because brainstorming is exploration!
Brainstorming means taking a risk. Either literally, in drawing or figuratively. The goal is to cross, walk, march and run because
Brainstorming is also fitness: Mens sana in corpore sano, is exercise and acrobatics, mental acrobatics, I would say. Unless someone wants to get on a chair to explain that from above the perspective is different and broader!
Therefore, do not forget: adventure! Too much or too little, just enough is required.
Moreover, much fun please! Without fun, all is boring and brainstorming without humour is boring, soft, shy.
Dream a little… brainstorming requires dreaming. The kind of dreams that guide life as well as projects. When we dream, we plan on ideas. We give them new perspectives or create meanings that reality sometimes steals. Because in the end, we always have to have our feet on the ground.
However, unlike a project, that needs feet and head, brainstorming can only have feet or only head, or only arms, or only small fingers! Its importance and need are not defined by its perfect anatomy, but by its idiosyncrasies.
Because of the whims it claims for itself, brainstorming should be capricious and vain. It should be the centre of attention because, ideally, it will be the most special and embellished moment in a project that gives you everything you have to achieve.
Even if the result is not what you imagined…
It is true that brainstorming is never a guarantee of anything; it is only the beginning of much work. It is the tip of the iceberg, but it is always worth it and should never be forgotten, especially when the Excel sheet arrives…
Then the numbers! How to fight the numbers? With debate, with rebate. With expertise and ideas!
Here is one more key point of this survival kit, the numbers, or rather the quantity map: how many brainstorming are there per project? The ones you want, the necessary ones and the unnecessary ones.
No one has written rule 1 to 1 because not all brainstorming is victorious. There must also be room for the unsuccessful. And that is part of the process. The most important thing is to recognize this same fragility of the creative process, reflect on the ideas, and then be assertive in the final moment.
Now yes, the numbers! The Excel sheet… the enemy…, the threat…, the impending destroyer of ideas…
How to respond? With more ideas! For great evils, great solutions!
Fortunately, the commutative property of the addition tells us that we can change the order of the sections, because the result will always be the same; in this case = a winning project.
Therefore, freely add the Is of this text (it is 13, but do not worry because superstition does not fit the equation) and be an explorer. If it is not enough, call all professions in the room or building. Everybody is welcome.
Read the latest article – Happiness at Work – written by Isabel Mota, Happiness Officer at Multilem.