How to build on each others ideas

The more (focused) the merrier

How much easier would our lives be if creative ideas could be conceived and solved in the way mathematical problems are, wouldn’t they? The path from A to B would be a straight line instead of a mess of narrow shortcuts, steep mountains and a huge abyss with a primitive and hungry monster waiting at the bottom. Usually, that monster is called “ego” and he’s a cold, mean one with tonnes of patience and a atom bomb destruction potential.

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Dealing with egos to stop thinking about individuals and work as a team is the key in this creative processes to get to the final destination, alas, the perfect creative result. Here’s some tips to learn how to build on each other ideas as a group:

Each idea is a new spark:
You need to create a safe environment to ensure people that no matter how silly whatever they say sounds, it will be understood in a context and valued as a new path to follow. You never know where a new idea can take you. Sentences that start with “I know this sounds crazy but...” usually might be, well, crazy, but someone else will catch the ball, add a new perspective to it and get to the point. Never ever make fun of anyone that might feel hurt or stupid if they venture to brainstorm; this kills the vibe.

Value the idea. Don’t value the person:
Workspaces are tricky environments. No matter who you get on with, you might need to sit down in brainstorming sessions with people that have been nasty to you, get on your nerves or always leave the toilet sit up. Even if it burns you inside, try to understand the fact that these people can actually throw in some pretty good ideas to the brainstorming process. They might even have the best idea. Detach who says something from the content itself.

Taking ideas to the next level:
The thing is, all participants have to be on the same page. What’s important is to make ideas better. Don’t be afraid to develop what someone has pointed out; that doesn’t mean you’re criticising or being annoying. Ideas are not possessions. Repeat the mantra.

Different perspectives make ideas better:
When some creative processes extend too much, new perspectives can be like opening a window in a crowded room to have some fresh air. Rotation is healthy, avoids things getting stuck, moods to decay and, to be honest, it’s always nice to have new faces around.

Getting to that perfect problem-solving idea is like Frodo’s quest, but here’s the deal: Triggers is your Gandalf plus the eagle that could’ve entered the film way before it did. Good luck and good creative sessions for you!