Truly Strategic Ideas Can’t Be Brainstormed

Truly Strategic Ideas Can’t Be Brainstormed

The many well-documented problems with group brainstorming limit its creative potential. These include social loafing, inhibition, production blocking, and regression to the mean. Even if these difficulties could be overcome, strategic ideas cannot be created in a brainstorming session since they are too complex.

Having a strategically insightful idea requires setting an ambiguous goal that is neither too constrained nor too loose. A properly configured goal facilitates the divergent exploration for new information. This information must be consolidated into long-term memory so that the mind can unconsciously incubate ideas. This iterative process can take weeks or months, and insights are likely to come when least expected. Have you ever been awakened by an insightful idea in the middle of the night?

To ensure that you have insightful ideas to propose, begin your strategy quest months before the proposal deadline.  Ideas are abstract, so make sure that you leave sufficient time to develop your insights into a tangible and understandable concept.

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