Be Wary of Fly Swatters When Brainstorming

From my business and Information Technology (IT) perspective, many of us in IT are not necessarily good at brainstorming. It is probably a skill we could develop more, “tweak”, or improve with practice. Maybe the limited amount of past brainstorming sessions may contribute to the lack of brainstorming development.

Even though I have worked in IT for many years, I find it useful to brainstorm to help generate ideas. You can get a lot of value by gathering a group of people in a room to try to tackle an issue or problem. You use the energy and input from others to really get going and gather as many ideas and thoughts about a given topic.

The key thing to remember is to effectively brainstorm. Try to compile as many ideas as possible. No editing, analyzing or judging. Be wary of fly swatters which means those doubters or cynics in the room who may not want this exercise to succeed. You will find some people in your brainstorming session who spend most of their energy analyzing or striking down ideas. The people who strike down ideas may feel oblivious to those genuinely committed to generating as many ideas as possible. You may want to be very specific about the guidelines before moving forward and even if you confront some judging or editing early on, call it out to reinforce the guidelines.

To a great extent, the success of the brainstorming event is dependant on the tone that is set. Be free to really dream and storm the session with as many ideas as possible. With a lot of energy and input, your session might become more successful over the course of time as more and more ideas are added to the pool. Just throw out crazy ideas and throughts to try to establish as much material as possible while someone is writing them down. Editing will come later once you’ve exhausted the creative parts of the process. So in the meantime, have fun and derive as much material as possible before you move onto the next phase of editing, evaluating and judging what you have previously captured.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.