Monday, December 10, 2012

Philosophy on a Bar Napkin

Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise makes it bloom, discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us put out more and better ideas, if our efforts are truly appreciated.
-Alex Osborne

Have you ever wondered where the term brainstorming ca me from? It came from Buffalo, New York, of course, where all things creative come from. .Actually, it came from a guy named Alex Osborn who is from Buffalo. Osborn climbed the ranks of a big New York City ad agency in the 1940’s. He got his  team to come up with successful ad campaigns for Chrysler, General Electric , Dupont and Royal Cola. The agency credited their success to how Osborn conducted meetings. The “brainstorming” concept worked so well in the ad agency that Osborn eventually left the business to devote his time to being an author. His books include: “How to Think Up”, “Your Creative Power”, “Wake Up Your Mind” and “The Goldmine Between Your Ears”. Osborn also founded the Creative Education Foundation, which is going strong today with a mission to engage and develop the next generation of creative thinkers and innovators. They call themselves experts in “applied imagination”. From a standardized creative problem solving process to the world’s longest running international creativity conference, Osborn’s fingerprints are on all of it. Did you know Buffalo State University is the only college to offer a masters degree in creativity through a division called the Center for International Studies of Creativity . Yep, that is Osborn too!

On this Big Idea Monday, let’s take a moment to celebrate the contribution one person can make. Brainstorming is built on a foundational idea that there is no room for criticism in the creative process. It is about quantity, not quality when your trying to find solutions. Throw it out there. See what sticks. Trial and Error. Free Associate. So here is my Big Idea for BIM. Don’t pick on it. I was out this weekend and my drink happened to make a happy face water mark on my cocktail napkin. How about a line of glasses to be sold to bars and restaurants that leave different unique marks on the napkin. I think the trick is to not sell all the same kind. There should be a randomness to it. A surprise that sparks conversation.

How do you brainstorm?

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