Time To Brainstorm Designed To Help Generate Ideas And Solutions For Businesses, Agencies And Entrepreneurs
Brainstorming is a process for generating ideas and solutions.
While there are many different ways to be successful at brainstorming, I was surprised to learn that many organizations, agencies, and people go about it the wrong way. They run sessions that encourage adoption of the first ideas mentioned, or only tap into a small number of people on a team – leaving the others to just follow along. The ending result is not true brainstorming, but an exercise with limited results. The process never lives up to its full potential, because it gets taken over by group-thinking, or people rallying around ideas shared by people who are popular in the office, or ideas they think management will approve of.
I’ve always been someone who loves to create. Whether it is alone, in a small group, or a large forum, I tend to see things around me and wonder if there is a better way.
In my marketing work, I have always looked at how a tactic or type of technology can deliver a better result.
As this year evolved, I started thinking more about how I could go beyond marketing, and use my interest in creating new ideas or new solutions to help businesses, organizations and people achieve better results.
This led me to studying how habits are formed, and how ideas are created.
A few months later, after extensive research, I realized just how powerful and valuable a well-done brainstorming session can be.
And now… A Time To Brainstorm has been born.
Brainstorming works best with total participation
At the core of brainstorming is the notion that each person participating generates their own ideas. Later, through a process that includes anonymous idea sharing and group discussion, ideas are expanded on in a group setting.
The goal of A Time To Brainstorm is to focus on creating the best possible environment for people to generate ideas that can be used to advance their business, agency, or organization, or even their own personal goals.
In each session, my team and I will strive to reduce roadblocks to contributions, stimulate everyone to encourage broad participation, and work to generate a large outflow of divergent thinking – so every stone is upturned, and all ideas are on the table. After all, the craziest sounding ideas are sometimes the best.
What we can do to help your organization or team
Think of what we can do in a simple process:
Preparing a group for a brainstorming session requires a comfortable meeting environment. Sometimes, getting out of the office can be a real positive step. We can work with you to determine how much information and pre-session preparation your needs to have. Individual research or smaller team meetings can help get the juices flowing, but we want to make sure we do not create roadblocks to idea creation. We also will help identify the right people to attend the session (the right balance of diverse perspectives and backgrounds is important). When the brainstorming session is ready to take place, we make sure everyone is warmed-up and ready to get going. And as the session progresses, we assign non-contributors to capture all ideas, and make them constantly visible to everyone.
We will discuss your goals, the personalities on your team, your target customer audience, and competition (if relevant) to help create the best structure for your brainstorming session. However, one of the most important aspects of a brainstorming session is what takes place before the session – the research and individual preparation. We have a system to prevent group-think and anchoring – where one or a few ideas get discussed and no creative expression takes place. Our team will create a detailed plan that provides all the steps your employees / team-members need to follow to ensure total participation, and idea sharing. The structure we create will go a long way to ensuring you get the most value from brainstorming.
A brainstorming or ideation session needs both a guide, as well as managers who are NOT part of the idea creation process to help the discussion be a success. The last thing you want is someone on your team who you need as a contributor to not participate because they had to manage the room, or record results. We not only keep a highly detailed record of all discussion and interaction, but we connect everything together in a final report that can be used by your organization and its leadership to act on all ideas that your team-members come up with.
Lastly, we take all the information we have collected, and create an actionable report that includes all the ideas, as well as recommendations for the next steps.
If this sounds like something that would be of interest to you and/or your organization, let me know at: email@example.com.
Reform MyGov To Crowdsource Policy Solutions From Americans, Shift Power Away From Special Interest Groups And Lobbyists
In 2010, ChallengePost was named as the official government contractor to create a crowd-sourcing / contest platform for government agencies.
A short time later, a website launched called Challenge.gov.
Though it has been scaled back over the last few years, Challenge.gov’s mission has been to be a place where government agencies could voluntarily bypass the often cumbersome contracting process, and instead offer contests to help crowd-source solutions for some of their needs.
The General Services Administration (GSA), which launched and still manages the site, opened it up for free several years ago to any agency that wanted to challenge “the public to innovate or solve a problem.” Agencies could still use their own providers or platform (for example, NASA), and were under no requirement or mandate to the use system.
What was and is great about this concept, is that any government agency need could be shared as a contest – complete with rules, prizes, judges, etc. And any need was on the table, such as: an app, an infographic using agency data, a recipe, a microsite, an improvement to an existing product or service, and more.
It was all about breaking down a barrier to success through crowd-sourcing, and using the skills, knowledge, and talents of Americans to create solutions to government challenges.
Why not crowd-source policy solutions from Americans?
The concept of Challenge.gov is a positive step in the direction of better e-government.
However, more needs to be done to balance the growing influence from special interest groups and lobbyists on legislation at the federal and state level. In some research, that level of influence has been estimated at over 90% of ALL legislation that the U.S. Congress addresses.
In my view, the American people deserve to have a stronger voice in government.
The Reform MyGov website and crowd-sourcing platform is going to be a step in that direction.
Here is part of what I am seeking to develop:
A platform that:
- Provides a way for people to register, and create a basic or advanced user profile that includes but is not limited to: first name and last name, a valid e-mail for authentication, city, state and zip code of primary residence, business or organization, if they are a registered lobbyist or agent / executive of a corporation, and a picture.
- Integrates with, scrapes, or shares the latest legislation available in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as well as legislation being considered at a state level.
- Allows a person, once registered, to view proposed legislation, general policy areas, or policy concepts, and submit either amendments, full legislation, or legislative / policy concepts for others to view and consider.
- Enables a person to forward their suggestion to specific policy-makers for their consideration via e-mail (potentially limiting such submissions based on a certain volume per month or per week, and potentially allowing advanced users the ability to send more with a higher tier membership) OR allowing them to print and mail such proposals to them at their own expense.
- Allows people to simply vote on policy concepts or specific bills that they favor, and add comments to those proposals.
- Allows people to look-up their elected representative, and view their positions on specific bills or policy concepts.
- Allows people to view all registered political opponents to their elected representative, and view their positions on specific bills or policy concepts.
- Allows people to view proposals from organizations, corporations, or special interest groups.
- Requires people who are lobbyists, or agents of a specific organization or company, to register as lobbyists or agents with the site, so users know what external factors may impact why a person favors or opposes a specific proposal / bill.
- Other features not listed here.
If this is of interest to you, or you have ideas on requirements that will make this platform stronger, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org