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Is Your Business Having an Idea Drought?

Are you out of good ideas? Are you trying to come up with new cost saving strategies or more effective marketing techniques?

If you haven’t already, you need to try the old tried and true technique: Brainstorming.

Here is how brainstorming works:

  • Start a brainstorming session with several people (3-7 is best)
  • Identify the problem or topic you want to address
  • Allow everyone present to contribute the first idea, and as many ideas that come to mind
  • Every idea is to be written down and no idea can be critiqued, edited or evaluated, only built upon as a new and separate idea

This is a very powerful technique and allows for a list of good ideas to build up very quickly. There are numerous benefits to implementing this strategy throughout all levels of the organization. Below are just a few of them.

You can develop new product ideas, businesses and income streams

If you are looking for new income-producing streams, brainstorming is a very powerful tool. Because this technique allows to you come up with a series of un-critiqued ideas very quickly, you will have a wealth of possibilities at your disposal after a brainstorming session.

Some of these may be very creative and outside-the-box, others may require editing or elimination, however all of these items are something that you can work with one way or another.

There is no limit to how many times you can brainstorm, so whenever you are in need of more income-producing ideas, brainstorming is always a technique that is available for you to use. If you are giving your time unlimited value, brainstorming may turn out to be a very frequently used tool in your entrepreneurial tool belt.

You can create new innovative processes and ways of solving problems

Maybe you have some expenses that are ballooning out of control, or certain practices in your business are becoming less and less efficient. Brainstorming can allow you to think of new and creative ways to solve these problems and implement new processes that can make your business both more effective and efficient.

Toyota saves so much money when manufacturing cars through their “Just-in-Time” (JIT) inventory system. This technique is simple: obtain the parts of the car when needed, rather than storing the parts and incurring carrying costs.

While I don’t know of the origin of the JIT system, whose to say that you can’t brainstorm a cost-saving process as effective as this? I am certain there are hundreds of processes like this one that are just waiting to be discovered. Brainstorming can help you think of some new and creative ones.

You can find new visions and perspectives

You may need to begin viewing your business and how it relates to clients though a different angle or critical lens.

Because of this, you may need to periodically adjust certain elements of your business, or how your core beliefs are implemented into the culture of your organization. Brainstorming can help you discover new ways of doing this. Use your new list of creative ideas to ensure your organization’s core beliefs are being followed most effectively.

Brainstorming can help establish a more accepting culture that values new ideas

Brainstorming should be done throughout your organization, not just by you and your direct reports. New ideas and perspectives are very important in every level of your business and allows for your entire enterprise to be more quick, flexible and responsive to change.

Embracing brainstorming at all levels of your organization also gives your staff the message that your business’s culture values new ideas and diversity of thinking. Showing your staff that you are open to new thoughts and ideas will allow everyone to flex their creative muscles, give you their input and keep a steady flow of new and great ideas coming to you.

You can come up with new marketing ideas

Brainstorming is probably mostly used when thinking of new marketing ideas. If you are trying to think of new ways to market your product, especially if your past efforts aren’t working, brainstorming is something you must do.

This can be very effective in helping you come up with a series of marketing ideas very fast, that you can constantly refer to when trying different advertising techniques. Again, being able to come up with new and creative ideas very quickly will allow you to have a nice flow of marketing ideas that you can test, tweak and test again.

Has anyone else had any success with brainstorming? Any suggested best practices when brainstorming? Does anyone have any other benefits that this technique provides?

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