Hey, I'm Sylvie

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Finding good ideas!

Finding good ideas!

Do great ideas emerge during a traditional brainstorming session? Not really, because few talented people lead these sessions. This probably explains the bad reputation this method has gained over time. At the opening of the session, the more extroverted embark with enthusiasm and passion. Introverts listen and support the initial ideas without really sharing what they think. If some introverts wish to express an opinion, they seldom have a real opportunity to do so. And you know, when you have an idea in mind, it becomes difficult to think of other ideas. It is always best to express our ideas before hearing those of others. Not to mention that in business, it often happens that people prefer not to share their ideas for fear of being made responsible for their execution. Studies show that the best brainstorms are silent (20% more ideas) which allow everyone to express themselves freely. According to Loran Nordgren, a professor at the Kellogg University, brainstorming sessions are even more effective if they are anonymous.

The method consists, firstly, of asking people to write down their ideas on separate cards (one idea per card) and then sticking them to a wall. The facilitator must insist that each person write so as not to be recognized. Secondly, all participants vote for the best ideas. After these first two steps, the most interesting ideas are analyzed in groups. Only at the very end, we can possibly discover who the authors of the chosen idea are. What makes a quality brainstorming is the generation of as many ideas as possible.

The more ideas the better. It is important not to assess their value, at this stage; the quality is irrelevant. Unsuitable ideas are just ways to start the real process of reflection and creation that will follow. The real results occur during the interaction between the participants as they explore the ideas adopted by imagining a thousand possible combinations. It is often when turning over an idea from all angles that 'genius' is revealed.

For successful brainstorming, it's better to write first and talk later. This approach avoids trying to sound smart at all costs just to impress others. The atmosphere becomes more pleasant and relaxed, and allows everyone to express themselves. Introverts and extroverts alike, learning to brainstorm side by side.

The famous marketing author, Seth Godin, recommends  associating 'Pictionary' to 'buzz management'. It was bad memories of college that gave him the idea for this method. He did not like quizzes where you have to press a button to answer. What frustrated him was that, even if one knew the answer, often someone else will press the button first. For creative activities, we strongly advise against pressing the same button before we know the answer. Godin said, maybe you will have the answer just because you pressed the button!

The 'buzz management' associated with the method that inspired the Pictionary game, "A board game whose goal is to guess a word, phrase, or idea to his partner in a limited time, with the aid of a drawing. The name is a contraction of the words picture and dictionary. It was created in 1985 by Rob Angel with the drawings of Gary Everson and Terry Langston."

How does it work? Players are divided into teams. Each member becomes a designer. The dealer draws a card and announces to all players whether it is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or expression, and also the points they can earn. On a signal, a player draws the word in question, and his team has one minute to come up with the answer. If team members guess correctly, this team wins the points and continues the game by drawing another word, etc. The other group has the right to guess the word. If they guess the word correctly, this group receives a 50 point bonus. The teams can also be isolated with their designer and the fastest team wins. One can only draw. Numbers, letters, words and actions are prohibited; a rebus is allowed."

So when they see a drawing, participants are asked to say words, much like charade. If it is in the spirit of 'buzz management', everyone will say the words quickly. This process has the advantage of being fun and helps generate ideas easily. With one word every five seconds, that's twelve ideas per minute, you get 720 ideas in an hour per person! "

"To have 99 good ideas, we must have generated at least 900," says Seth Godin. The goal of brainstorming is that people feel free to suggest the wildest ideas as the most serious and take  pleasure in these sessions, which should generate joy and not frustration. This is a game where the participants agree on the rules and play. Creating is a fun activity that energizes and de-stresses. Fun... and to re-emphasise As Many Ideas As Possible, remember variation is at the origin of evolution.


1. Choose a theme.
2. Set a deadline (e.g. one hour).
3. Ask everyone to write 50 different ideas. 

The Game of Possibilities

The Game of Possibilities

As many ideas as possible

As many ideas as possible