Monday, April 10, 2006

Know Thyself

You don’t know your co-worker until you’ve had a brainstorm session with them. Only in those situations where “there are no bad ideas” do you truly see the colors of those you work with. Are they shy and say nothing? Do they have no shame and blurt out the first thing that comes to mind? Are they always trying to one-up the others in the room? Do they take immediate feedback well or view it as criticism?

In many offices, sessions like these are the closest people will get to a night on the town with their co-worker or supervisor. In brainstorms you aren’t as constrained by the corporate atmosphere. As in all situations, though, there are lines that should not be crossed. Overall, today’s session was tame but there was a moment when the phrase “human assets” caused HR Directors around the word to do a double-take.

In case you’ve forgotten, brainstorms are all about thinking outside the box…please pardon the cliché. Combine that with the no bad idea mentality and you’ve got an uninhibited cocktail of thoughts just waiting to overflow. And, if your office is one that is open to the idea of partaking in cocktails during said brainstorm session, look-out. Such incidences lead to the birth of ridiculous comments regarding cats and hoola-hoops, rapping grandmothers, and centers of egg-cellence.

Although to some brainstorms seem obnoxious and sometimes that blank board is the most frightening thing a marketing person can see, more often than not they leave participants with a better understanding of the client, the project, and (just maybe) each other.

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