Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Bowling Approach to Brainstorming

Confused by the headline? You probably aren't alone. How do I make this connection?

For those few who are unfamiliar with bowling (including one of my bosses, circa January 2007). The point of the game (contrary to some assertions, it is not a sport) is to topple 10 triangularly-arranged pins with one or two casts of a large, moderately-heavy, sphere down an oil-laden lane. Sounds fancy, doesn't it? The process is repeated 10 times to complete a game.

Likewise, when brainstorming you are throwing ideas out there. If one idea doesn't quite hit the mark, you throw another. Other times your first idea is dead-on with no need to throw out a follow-up. But the process of sharing ideas is done multiple times until the completion of a brainstorm session.

Sometimes in bowling you fall down - as fellow-blogger Mike will attest to. Similarly, while brainstorming your ideas may be met with grimaces, mocking and the occasional tumbleweed - as I can attest to.

People have different techniques while brainstorming. Maybe you like alliteration, iambic pentameter or squishing together two words to form a singular, multisyllabic marvel, such as gianormous or hugified. Similarly, some bowlers put ridiculous amounts of spin on the ball, some throw the ball back-handed and others simply throw the ball as hard as they can.

But remember, when brainstorming, no matter how great your idea is you have to follow it up with another. All you need now are stylish shoes and a juke box!


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