I feel a storm a-comin'.
Storms bring with them excited weather people, ruined picnic plans and in some cases, disastrous results.
But if you are a positive thinker – what positive comes from a storm?
Quenched plants and, reduced humidity, a fresh smell in the air. A clean slate.
So what about brain storming? What can a vigorous session of brain storming do for your business?
I have a friend that I meet with a couple times a month for that very purpose. We started calling it the Cup of Coffee Financial Meeting as we met over coffee and talked about our financial investments in our business and in our future.
However as time passes we have begun to use the sessions for intense brain storming. No idea is bad or crazy or dismissed because each idea leads to another and another and before you know it we each have a notebook filled with possibilities that we are responsible for acting upon before our next meeting.
In the Success Coach of Entrepreneur magazine this summer, they talk about using brain storming sessions to help you explore new ideas, discover solutions and reach your goals.
Author Romanus Wolter offers four steps to effective brainstorming:
1. Seek discovery, not answers. Just throw it all out on the table – you can "yes but" and pick it apart later.
2. Have purposeful conversations. It can be tempting to veer off point – be focused on your purpose and set a time limit for your discussion. Take turns bringing the session back on point.
3. Ask questions to deepen your knowledge. Questions are a great way of getting to bottom of a problem or thinking through a new direction. I wrote about this process not long ago.
4. Commit to investigating the whole picture. It doesn't do any good if you leave the session and never refer to your notes again. Commit that you will work through each idea offered. You just don't know what one through will lead to.
Just like the flowers that bloom from the rain brought by a summer storm, so can your business blossom.
Deborah Chaddock Brown