The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Meeting of Brainstorming
When it comes to ideas, the whole concept of brainstorming with a group of people works great. Everyone gathers around at a meeting, usually before or after lunch, and contributes their ideas towards whatever a company is trying to plan or come up with. Brainstorming allows us to get out our ideas, optimize, and refine exactly what it is we should do with those ideas. Sometimes those ideas are good and other times, not so good.
The issue of brainstorming comes into place when the team knows each and every contributed idea openly. What do I mean by this? The best ideas come from the vast emptiness of the mind, where originality must be sought. These ideas may be good or bad, but they are not based off of additional ideas or improved upon from old ideas. These ideas come strictly from creativity and imagination.
While it is important to bounce ideas off each other to expand and improve upon ideas, when it comes to brainstorming ideas in a meeting, the whole team should contribute individually, writing things down, but no one revealing any information to each other until after everyone has written some unique idea down. For example, ask a group of people to build a house, but do not give them any ideas about its location, how big or small it should be, what color it should be, or how many rooms it should contain. If you have 10 people in the room, you will get 10 completely different ideas about what the house would look like because no one has any idea of what the other is thinking. This is the concept behind brainstorming.
Now show one or several photo of a house to that same group of 10 people and ask them to come up with ideas for a house. The house will likely contain some ideas taken from what was seen in the photograph or photographs, thus possibility of brainstorming from originality, creativity, and imagination is completely eliminated because the ideas were drawn upon from the photos.
When people share ideas, their ideas are lost, as they may start to take and branch out from one favored idea. The best brainstorming comes from our minds, from our own thoughts, and not from the influence of others. This is not to say that we should not be influenced by the ideas of others, but in the beginning of any meaning in which brainstorming is occurring, there should be no encouragement of sharing ideas because this will potentially damage new ideas from forming.
Afterwards, however, once everyone has gotten their ideas out in the open and were not influenced by others, now would be the time to hone in on each individual idea, refining and optimizing each idea to come to solid conclusive great ideas. The ideas, afterwards, can influence one original idea, or opinions and thoughts can be given towards improving other ideas.
Encouragement and motivation of employees to come up with good ideas and allow them to bring them to the table on their own, without influence of others, will provide insight into how each and every employee thinks. No idea may be better than the other, but some may be favored more than others, as they may guide the company in a better direction. No ideas should be tossed, without first analyzing and figuring out which ideas are worth further investigation, and which will not lead anywhere.
This is the best way for imaginative and creative brainstorming to occur and open up endless possibilities for a company and for an employee to feel their self-worth and contributions to the company. Humans are filled with ideas, but sometimes they must be forced to concentrate deep within the mind to come up with those brainstorming ideas.