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Brainstorm how-to: the wall of ideas

Sometimes the biggest kept secret is the writing on the wall. In the Corporate World we white board our largest proposals, or rather road map the path to success, so we can transition ourselves, a client, or a project in the best way possible. In the individual setting, we might simply take a pen to paper and write it down. Or, if you are like me, I open up my good old OneNote; which is of course with me everywhere I go and my lifeline to tomorrow. I promise we will chat about OneNote on an entirely new blog post!

We bring everyone in a conference room where we will hunker down the entire day and see who falls asleep first. Totally kidding, okay maybe not entirely. What is interesting is that we only do this for our large projects and we forget that the benefits entirely. I for one am a fan of constantly white boarding and tend to always be found with a board of thoughts somewhere.

The best wall of ideas though was created when I was at a private company where we had a lot of growth opportunity. We got all of the right people around the table, a lot of sticky notes, and a lot of coffee. I think we should have eliminated the coffee as everyone in the room was so engaged in development that we were at the edge of our chairs. For more than two days we sat in this room with full engagement. We came out with a project that helped turn the red to black and brought a once separated team closer than we could have ever imagined.

So... take a pen, marker, or whatever you have nearby and give it a try. Your answers will start to lift off the pages in which you write and you will be able to develop what you have been looking for.

One hint... don't hold back when you start. Remember when Carl Sagan said: "There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question". He was totally right, the most ill-phrased list of ideas sometimes tend to be the ones that get you around the next bend.

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