July 17, 2013

We've all gone to those meetings – brainstorming meetings.

Need ideas. A new direction. Something. Anything! Get people in a room. Whiteboard. Coffee. Donuts if you're lucky. No bad ideas. Let 'em fly. Scribble them down. Keep going! Yes! We have tons! Wonderful! Thanks! Break it up. Take a donut with you. Back to work. Done. Over. Birds chirping. The ideas – gone.

Creative thinkers don't like the word "brainstorming" anymore. It relies on a thunderstorm metaphor – a sudden swirl of energy, noise, electricity and wind that gets everybody's attention for a moment, then passes by, dissipates, and leaves nothing behind.

Instead, innovative companies collaborate on ideas in a process that looks more like swarming than storming. Individuals come together to swarm over a problem, but then the swarm doesn't break up and disappear – it shifts, changes, keeps moving and re-forms, building on what it's done until it solves one problem and then carries what it knows to the next one.

Let's call it Brainswarming.™

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