Brainstorming is probably my favourite way of getting out of a rut and generating new ideas. It’s a key tool for leadership development in any setting.
One answer is to write exhaustive lists using brainstorming rules – suspend judgement and focus on quantity. ‘Brainstorming for one’, I call it.
What follows is an example of how you could use this technique to crack a common problem.
When we need to hire, we often get stuck on defining what we want in a new hire. Often, we play safe by sticking to what we’ve done in the past even when the business has changed over time.
1. Start writing lists including –
2. Keep adding to the lists (without judging or editing) until you can’t think of anything more
3. Keep your lists going for at least 24 hours. Your subconscious mind will generate further ideas while you’re doing other things, even sleeping!
4. When the ideas stop flowing, it’s finally time to edit:
5. Combine your lists to define both the role you are filling (your job description) and the person you want to fill it – which in turn gives you your recruitment method, ad wording and selection process.
I’d love to hear your experiences of using ‘brainstorming for one’.
"In a challenging role in a new organisation, coaching with Paula was the ideal time to reflect, problem-solve, brainstorm options and arm me with next steps in all areas - from staffing, internal politics and relationships to tackling key initiatives. The sessions were by video and face to face, both equally effective. Using video allowed for easy integration of sessions into my busy workdays without any hassle. Paula’s style of coaching quickly built trust so I felt safe being vulnerable, quickly getting to the heart of a number of issues and propelling me and my performance forward significantly!"
- Executive GM, People and Culture
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Benoit Ribe - HR Solutions Manager, Polyglot Group
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Shaun Stanfield - Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet