In 1916, Einstein published the general theory of relativity. More than 50 years later, NASA confirmed Einstein’s predictions. How is it that some people can seemingly predict the future? I believe it comes down to the ability to sense gaps and to imagine possibilities. At the end of the day, predicting the future may be nothing more than tapping into divergent and convergent thinking skills.
For example, on my last day of work from one of my very first jobs, I wrote down a half dozen predictions about the future of the company I was leaving. I then sealed my predictions in envelopes and gave them to a colleague with instructions to open each one on the date indicated. As my colleague opened each envelope, she was surprised by the accuracy of what I had predicted. In the end, nearly all had come true.
Earlier today I received a call from a former colleague asking for pointers in conducting a brainstorm. In chatting with him, I began to ask myself, “Is there a right way to brainstorm?” My short answer is “yes!”
I’ve sat in my share of poorly run brainstorming sessions and you probably have too. You know, the type of brainstorming where… one person dominates the conversation, or folks are so anxious to get their ideas out they don’t listen to one another, or ideas don’t connect to a unified problem, or worse yet, the brainstorming doesn’t lead to an actionable outcome.
So, what’s the right way to brainstorm? Here are some tips: