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If The Brainzooming Group has worked with your organization or you have read our blog for any length of time, you know we are big believers in the value of using creative thinking exercises for brainstorming new ideas. Typically, the creative thinking exercises use multiple probes to yield ideas in a variety of areas within a single exercise.

Source: http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/IMAGES/MEDIUM/0601073.jpg

When Creative Thinking Exercise Provide Value

Beyond their help in brainstorming new ideas, creative thinking exercises also provide context as we document ideas from a Brainzooming session. If the description of an idea written during a fast-paced Brainzooming session lacks specificity or leaves a lot to the imagination, knowing the creative thinking exercise the idea is associated with can provide context to fill in missing details.

For some time, we used to both document the exercises for their value in providing context for ideas and as a way to organize brainstorming output from sessions. We would create elaborate spreadsheets with thousands of ideas in a database format. Sorting, analyzing, and grouping these spreadsheets with all their fields, however could quickly become mind numbing and counter-productive. Ultimately, we wound up putting a lot of time into organizing ideas that never made it out of a spreadsheet.

This issue came up as a client was working with several hundred blog topic ideas generated during a Brainzooming session several weeks ago. As she got everything entered, the number of ideas along with all the categories and sub-categories associated with the ideas became unwieldy.

When They Aren’t Providing Value

As we talked about dealing with all the information from the session, it dawned on me the creative thinking exercises function like the rocket boosters on a spaceship. The rocket boosters are essential to launch the astronauts and the main vehicle into space, but once they have performed that function, they are jettisoned. They are not pulled along on the entire space mission after they have served their purpose and quit providing value.

It is the same with creative thinking exercises and ideas they trigger.

Creative thinking exercises get you started brainstorming with incredible creativity, but once an idea takes life, which exercise triggered the idea is of little importance.

That is when they quit providing value, and it is time to let them go. - Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can help you enhance your strategy and implementation efforts.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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