The characteristic and skill of “creativity” is often not one you can express on command; runners, comedians and musicians, for example, can physically show their talent at any given moment. Although intellectual talent, such as creativity, is much more difficult to “prove” that you have, you still need to practice and train to strengthen this skill for when the opportunity arises.
In a position and industry where, more often than not, our creativity has to be “on” and our thinking caps ready to be worn during any meeting, call or moment, creativity is no longer a bonus skill, but a necessity. Sometimes, it is tough to be creative all day. Runners become fatigued, comedians miss the punch line and musicians strike the wrong chord; in every line of work, it happens. Our skilled PR and social media pros have found various ways of staying creative and my personal favorite is brainstorms.
Brainstorms are the racetrack, microphone and stage to showing your creativity. There are various ways to brainstorm and various techniques leaders use to execute brainstorms. Some brainstorms are quick gatherings around a desk and others may have been on your calendar for two weeks. Whether the topic is unknown in advance, you come prepared or you partake in a SOS-flash brainstorm, we have only two rules for brainstorms:
1. No idea is a bad idea.
It’s a brainstorm. You are encouraged to throw out any and all ideas. You and your colleagues’ brains are literally “storming”- coming together and clashing ideas. If you really can’t have “bad” ideas, then call it a strategy or planning meeting, not a brainstorm. The brainstorm is the meeting to create the ideas for the strategy or planning meeting. Therefore, every idea should be welcomed and appreciated.
2. Don’t be limited.
Factors such as time, budget, feasibility or probability should not be harped on while brainstorming. Similar to “no idea is a bad idea,” don’t limit yourself or your colleagues with notions that your idea cannot or will not work. You may have to eventually scale your idea down, but never limit your creativity or imagination.
We pride ourselves on being a very creative office and team and we think our clients would agree. Our collaborative teams and nature are definitely the foundation of our creativeness and we know that at any given time, a good brainstorm can help strike that “big idea”.
Written by: Mary Paolantonio