A business and innovation consultant who also does training recently said that he had found after running over 100 structured group brainstorming sessions that it takes some time to warm up before quality ideas start to flow. He believes that in group brainstorming innovative ideas start to occur after about 25 minutes while in one-on-one sessions the lead time is about one hour and 15 minutes.
This is not a surprising finding. It’s a well known phenomenon that it takes time for the creative imagination to warm up. You can’t just expect to say now I need ideas and for them to pop up in your mind. Once the mind starts combining ideas, cross pollinating concepts and looking at problems from different perspectives, new solutions start to emerge.
Most brainstorming sessions may include things like a business concept development for a start-up project, and marketing strategy, suggestions for new product ideas and finding solutions to business problems. Even in a brainstorming session to find new approaches and solutions to some of these topics, you may still not come up with an idea that is a breakthrough or innovation. You might be lucky. A group brainstorming session or a personal brainstorming session might yield incredible results. But the norm is that your first or subsequent personal brainstorming sessions would merely be warmups to get you thinking more accurately about the problem at hand and different ways of looking at it.
For the start-up founder or entrepreneur coming up with new business ideas doesn’t necessarily involve one or two group or personal brainstorming sessions. It might take much longer. You may also find that ideas come to you long after brainstorming sessions. This means you need to record the idea, no matter how weird or wacky it seems because it is something that your creative imagination has conjured for you. This delayed response to the initial kickstart of your creative imagination through whatever method whether it be group brainstorming or personal brainstorming is a beginning to the creative process rather than a conclusion. Brainstorming, observation, questioning and listening need to become part of your entrepreneurial tool bag rather than put away and used only for special occasions.
If you want to improve the quality of your new business ideas or start something from scratch, a new resource is still publically available. My book “Breakthrough Ideas” provides a step-by-step, practical, hands-on guide to using several personal brainstorming techniques that are not commonly known and can yield startling results. Why not go get yourself a copy right now.