Thoughts on ideas, brainstorming, facilitation, and crowdsourcing

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Having an “idea” is a uniquely human thing.  It can be fun, beautiful, empowering, motivating, exciting, artistic, valuable. *

Through personal reflection, brainstorming, facilitation and crowdsourcing ideas can be leveraged and improved upon, to the point that the outcome is far better than the initial idea.

Ideas come from creative thinking, considering the previously unconsidered, often referred to as ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking or ‘strategic’ thinking (albeit strategy in many businesses seems, disappointingly, often not to be that creative).

I enjoy the creative process of originating and developing ideas, and so wanted to pull together some thoughts on this.

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Google ‘Wonder Wheel’ – mind maps on steroids!

Picture 7Let’s say you want to research a topic: You start with a general theme, but you’re keen to know more about it.  It might just be something that you have a passing interest in, your favorite band, a research topic for college, a client, or a something that you are working on. What do you do? Often you might Google some key words, and read around the topic.

Such search exercises are often unspecific, and consist more of information gathering to see what can be found and if there is anything of interest – normal search queries pump out numerous results, and by clicking on one or more of the top results, reading the contents of the linked pages, and perhaps following some links in those sites (and more reading) you eventually feel that you know something and can’t dedicate any more time to your search.

I recently came across Google Wonder Wheel and consider that it could be an excellent tool to reduce wasted time and effort in the early research steps, by allowing you to quickly focus your specific interest.

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