By Robert Bowen
Given our fields of interest and chosen professions, most of us have at least once in our lives had to brainstorm for one reason or another. But for those of us who apply this mental tool in our creative pursuits much more regularly, learning to do so effectively is crucial.
Brainstorming could prove an invaluable addition to your creative arsenal, but only if you take the time and put forth enough effort to follow through on the process. This is an unfortunate truth for many, who believe that this “storm” is short-lived. But there is more to it than that.
Brainstorming is more than about just having ideas: it is about having ideas and the means to implement them. You can come up with ideas all day long that sound great on paper and even out loud when you share them with others, but if you have no means to follow through on them, then they will simply fall flat. Just because you have a spark, doesn’t mean you have enough fuel to keep the fire burning brightly. An idea isn’t so much a storm as a drizzle.
If you look up the word brainstorm, it is generally defined as a “discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.” The key part here is the discussion. When a lot of us are ’storming, we do so on our own or with few participants, and we end up just sharing our idea rather than discussing it. There is no weighing of pros and cons, no comparison with competing or existing models, no contemplation of the concept’s audience. We must take extra steps to ensure that when we brainstorm, we do so as though we were having this discussion, covering all of these bases and fully examining the idea, not just marvelling at our conception of it.
Consider some of our previous articles:
- How Many Ideas Do You Show Your Clients?
A great discussion post that can help you decide how many ideas should make the cut.
- Where Do You Draw Inspiration From?
Another great post from the Smashing vaults to get you looking in the right places for inspiration.