You’ve heard stories of supermodels being “discovered” in unglamorous settings. Gisel Bundche was discovered while eating a Big Mac. A right person in the right place who knew how to spot the right face. Brainstorm facilitators need similar scouting skills. Here’s my method for seeing beautiful ideas hidden beneath ugly or ridiculous tactics. Also helps build a groups’ creative confidence.
Let’s start with what NOT to do…
- DON’T offer fake praise for clearly un-useable ideas – especially if (like me) you have bad poker face. Doing so instantly kills your credibility.
- DON’T simply record the idea amid awkward group silence – bruises contributors’ ego. And slows session momentum.
Instead – learn to quickly break an unattractive idea down to its core strategy (i.e. the how + why) – then ask brainstormers for 3 more ways to execute. I call this technique Core Craft.
To ‘stormers it (purposely) feels like a request for idea builds. But it’s not. Because asking ‘stormers to build on a bad-ish idea wastes time and their patience. Core Craft relies on YOUR creative chops and divergent thinking skills. And produces a better idea fast.
Real life example: Fellow basketball parents are spit-balling ideas for the team’s senior night. One mom suggests each player should be presented a pizza with their favorite toppings. (!) Hmmm… the core strategy at play… recognizing and celebrating individuality. Which opens door to idea of personalized mini-basketballs for fellow teammates to sign and be presented on stand surrounded by players’ favorite candy.
So how to build your Core Craft muscle? Start by having a few universal/common idea strategies in your back pocket. Tony Robbin’s six basic needs works great for this: Certainty/Comfort; Uncertainty/Variety, Significance; Love/Connection; Growth; Contribution. The “unattractive idea” you’re re-crafting likely has one of these human needs at its core. Coax group to name other ways to fulfill the same need.
Hey facilitators – stay tune for next post featuring more ways to practice and strengthen Core Craft skills.