May 21, 2015

Are You There Yet?


Last week I spent 24 hours in my sister’s Subaru crossing multiple state lines to visit family in Big Sky country. Sure, we had a plan to take pit stops and snap photos along the way, but the exact details were debatable. For us, the best things happened when we least expected, like space ships, snowflakes and Celtic cowboys (don’t ask).

Follow these five lessons, inspired by the road, to land better brainstorms:

  1. Draft a flexible itinerary
    Determine what you want to accomplish and set a time (consider morning vs. afternoon). Plan a few interactive activities and adjust based on time and interest. Share the itinerary with the team at least one day prior. Be open to new ideas and allow for alternative routes to reach your goals.

  2. Fuel up
    Whether it’s coffee, beer or froyo, provide a smorgasbord to keep creative juices flowing. Check out the Huffington Post’s infographic on whether coffee or beer makes our brains more creative. (On the road, stick to coffee or froyo!)

  3. Take time for rest stops
    Watch your team for exit signals. When ideas stop coming, take a rest (as long as needed) to recharge. With more energy, ideas will go further.

  4. Prepare for detours and roadblocks
    Encourage everyone to share aloud or on paper. Allow for additional time (over the next week or so) if you don’t reach the “epic idea” in the fast lane. Also, check your blind spot for Debbie Downer, who may cause a creative jam.

  5. Refuel 
    Ponder in the park? Rack brains on a run? Conceptualize on a canoe? Figure out what gets your team inspired and repeat as necessary.

Tweet your best brainstorm routes at @JayRayAdsPR.