Q. Isn’t brainstorming a waste of time, since most ideas won’t work anyway?

A. Your brain may have a different opinion from mine on the value of brainstorming. Are many ideas, even the majority, unworkable? Probably. Fortunately that didn’t stop inventors such as Edison, Bell, Einstein, and daVinci. Brainstorming can speed creative thinking, especially as related to solving a specific problem. Out of the ideas that are unworkable often emerges one that is truly brilliant. Try this formula:

  • List every playful, serious, weird, or unlikely idea you can generate
  • Avoid judging or censoring any of the ideas as you list them
  • Select the best two or three ideas
  • Evaluate the ideas carefully for viability or for variations that may work

The benefits? You are more likely to hone your ability to think “outside the box” and may discover an option that wasn’t self-evident.