Today I am prepping for a brainstorming session that I will be facilitating with one of my partners. The process of helping teams think differently about personas, tactics, and objectives is thrilling to me. Many years back I was trained by the incredible @kandiceherndon of Creative Resources Group. Kandice taught me a language that was quite natural to me. It encourages engagement and helps me push people to think in different ways. I learned how to create an experience for the participants that is judgment-free, supported and quite frankly it is so much fun. I love flip charts and colored markers too!
I think too often in business we get stuck in our day to day and don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to look at various situations with a different perspective. Whether you do it formally or not, I want to encourage you to step away from your laptops, grab a friend or two and try to put a creative thought process behind that area where you feel stuck.
Some things that I focus on in the process:
1. It is essential to dive deep into the "who" you are trying to engage with. You hear this often I know, but understanding your target customer is quite crucial. Ask yourself what they look like, where they shop, what do they eat, what keeps them up at night. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to think as they might.
2. Kandice taught me to take always take my conversations with my barnstormers on paths that are a little unexpected. I remember once facilitating a brainstorm about a specific idea around bringing a product to market. I casually asked the question, “What would Hillary Clinton do?”. I caught the attendees off guard, but honestly, some of the ideas that came up were completely unexpected (and brilliant!) That little shift and surprise question created new space for ideas.
3. Always make sure to allow every single idea to be heard, dug into and not judged. Some ideas will be ridiculous, and you, as the lead owner are going to have a set mind as to what is the right way to achieve a goal. The importance of judgment-free allows your participants to feel uninhibited and genuinely will open the room to new possibility and outcomes.
Whether you are a business owner, marketing director, salesperson, or project manager- the ability to get creative will increase your productivity and positive outcome. As a leader, it also will give your team a chance to feel ownership into a project.
Challenge yourself to think out the box. It’s exciting, and you never know how that one little idea you come up with can make a huge difference in your business. If you or your team are “stuck” on an objective or tactic,
I’d love to share with you a little bit more about my process and help you move forward. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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