1. Pick your team
Formulating ideas on your own is all very well and good, but you know what they say, “two heads are better than one” – or ten if you’re lucky enough to part of a small infographic agency.
It makes sense really, doesn’t it? You may have the ideas man at your disposal, but add a couple of copy writers, researchers, and designers to the mix then you’ve got yourself a bubbling pot of creative talent.
2. Location, location, location
Picture the scene; you’re sitting in your office, the same place you sit five days a week, almost every week, all year long. You need to think of a few project ideas; you look around the room, those same four walls, staring blankly at you… OK, well maybe I’m exaggerating, but you get the point, right? It’s painfully dull.
This is why it’s important to… try something a bit different. I’m not necessarily talking about a group abseiling trip in the Netherlands, whilst discussing ideas for a next project, hovering from a cliff top, but it is important to get out the office. Explore the area, go to the pub, sit in a new room, you never know, that conversation you overhear might get your creative juices flowing, (excuse the clichés, but I don’t get to actually write or say things like this in my day to day life).
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up
Now this part is particularly important to me. Although I can be very vocal at times, sometimes I doubt my own ideas, but I shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t. Contrary to your own beliefs, that lousy idea that you didn’t want anyone to hear may just be the golden egg your boss was waiting for. Alternatively, that lousy idea I voiced, might give someone else a great one. Now that’s probably not what you want to be taking into account walking out of a brainstorming session, but it’s good to be a team player. Take football, for example, or any team sport, the lead up to a goal is just as important as the player who shoots and scores.
Possibly the most important part of brainstorming (in my opinion) is the planning. Always have a route you want the ideas to follow, or you might find yourself heading down a rabbit hole. This is not always a bad thing; some great ideas are to be had when you’re left to your own devices. However, it’s good to always have a target. Having some sort of outline or a list of aims is crucial; or the team may struggle to focus, resulting in each team member burrowing their very own rabbit holes.
6. Where the idea comes from
Fresh ideas are hard come by, especially in this day and age. Imitation is the highest form of flattery… No, you shouldn’t just go out and rip someone else’s work off. But it is okay to put your own spin on a concept, or draw ideas from something which has proven inspirational, food for thought, if you will.
7. Why it all matters
Well I think it’s quite simple really, because an idea is not going to appear out of thin air is it? Brainstorming is down to you, and gathering inspiration from your environment is vital. Be it colleagues, something you read on the bus or scrolling through websites, anything has the potential to get that light bulb in your head switching on.
It’s simple: Gather a team of great minds, voice ideas, leave the office occasionally, plan, and actively seek inspiration.
Rabbit Holes < Great Ideas
I hope that all makes sense, happy brainstorming.