Most companies use brainstorming to develop creative ideas, solve tough problems or define new directions. But one of the biggest challenges to brainstorming is that blank piece of paper. It can mean too much freedom.
Like having 20 choices of peanut butter on the store shelf, too many possibilities can keep us from being able to make any choice at all. We don’t know where to start, leaving us with not much of anything in our cart.
Instead, choose bravery. Brainstorm to the edge of possibilities. Let your team know it’s charged with finding ideas that will show the remarkability of your product or service. Remind yourselves over and over that you are looking for a way to outsmart mice, not build a better mousetrap. Instead of modifying, or even reinventing, the current model, view it as the last way you would ever choose to do business.
Compromise doesn’t make sense. Any of your competitors can provide a restaurant menu that offers 10 kinds of cheeseburgers instead of five. Every company can compete on price to the point that there is no profitability at all. Being the cheapest or offering the biggest selection isn’t going to create remarkability in your customers’ eyes.
Brainstorming ideas out to their edges is difficult. It takes dismissing the obvious, and paying attention to what barely catches the corner of the eye. You may even have to accept that the problem you’ve defined isn’t the one that needs wrestling. Worst of all, it could mean that what you’re facing is the result of stupidity, not lack of innovation, and it needs a big fix.
Are you ready to push your team to the edge?