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5 Brainstorming Techniques to Unleash Creativity

I’ve had the pleasure of learning the creative and brainstorming forces from some of the most creative organizations around. I’ve been involved in the creative brainstorm process with Northpoint, Catalyst, Chick-Fil-A, Sandals Church, and many more. They each do it differently, and I steal ideas from their processes all the time to create mine. Here is just a vomit list of some things I have gleaned from them that stick out today…

1.  Don’t have the boss in all the meetings.

By this, I don’t just mean the senior pastor or CEO. It also means YOU if you are the creative director. Let your team create without worry that the boss is listening or having to always think his ideas are the best.

2.  Be a kid.

There is a reason why children’s environments are full of bright colors and visually stunning things. There is a reason that kids take nature walks to find and discover things around them. There is a reason that kids have recess. Something happens in adulthood that suddenly makes us forget we also need development.

3.  Have a DEDICATED note taker.

This is more important than having great ideas. If you can’t remember your great idea, then it’s no longer a great idea. Ideally, this person would not be involved with any part of the meeting besides taking notes.

4.  Negativity gets stoned.

On of the best ideas I learned from Julie Arnold at Northpoint was the Nerf ball rule. There is a pile of Nerf balls in the middle of the table.  If anyone EVER says, “We can’t do that” or “That is a bad idea” or anything to do with NO, then they get pelted. Like pain. Bullets fly. Don’t hold back. The negativity will soon disappear.

5.  Bring in the experts.

The experts are not the church staff. The experts are the church attendees. They are who you are creating for. Bring them in. Bring the expert consumer in and stop guessing what works.

Just ask them.