A couple of Saturdays ago, I participated on #ideachat, a new Twitter chat created by Angela Dunn (@BlogBrevity). #Ideachat proved to be a rollicking hour of back and forth tweeting with perspectives on where creative ideas originate. As a new chat, #ideachat was especially fun since it had a reasonable number of tweeters, creating a real opportunity to “converse” and learn.

Since a lot of the material on Brainzooming is about the strategy of  generating creative ideas, I’m not sure I hit on anything particularly new during the hour, but several points were good refreshers:

  • Collaboration is central to generating great ideas whether the collaboration is physical, virtual, spiritual, or simply collaborating with your own experiences. Essentially, great ideas come from rubbing two “sticks” together, irrespective of what the “sticks” are!
  • While collaboration is important to identifying innovative ideas, not just any group of people will be good at generating innovative ideas. It’s important to know who to surround yourself with to instigate the best innovative ideas. It’s very much like a basketball coach using a strategy of rotating players to find the best five to put on the court at any one time. Have your roster of creative instigators identified and be ready to substitute to score the best creativity.
  • There was discussion about why committee brainstorms seem to be so weak for idea generation. The challenge is involving multiple people doesn't necessarily mean a meeting is going to be collaborative. Without an inclination toward collaboration and/or a structure to help drive creative discussion, a committee meeting is often pretty fruitless for generating new possibilities.
  • There was some fun discussion about why people seem to get great ideas when taking a shower. While some people talked about shower time as a great creative environment because your mind is distracted, freeing up the subconscious to ideate, I wonder whether it isn’t because most people are concentrating in the shower on the smartest person they think they know!
  • One novel idea was a wish for workplaces to have group time similar to a shower – relaxing and reflective. That led to a few comments about wanting to work at a company which encouraged group showers.
  • Finally, it’s collaboration that gets me so excited about social media, particularly Twitter, and the opportunities for rapid, collaborative interactions which weren’t possible or practical previously. With a Twitter chat particularly, there seems to be a really provocative combination of diversity and intensity to the interaction which takes place. I plotted out this diagram to place various ideation techniques based on where they seem to fit for me in providing creative inspiration. What would you include and where would you place items on this grid?

The next #ideachat is scheduled for Saturday, November 13 at 9 am Eastern Time-US. The topic will be on ideas and the power of networks, with the book "Superconnect" by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood as the basis of the chat. Please look for more information by tracking #ideachat on Twitter and join the conversation. – 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.  To learn how we can bring out the best innovative thinking in your team email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320.