Think Fast. Think Aloud.

Business Week is providing eight rules for brainstorms. Here’s one that makes sense:

BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS ARE WORTHLESS UNLESS IDEAS LEAD TO ACTION
Brainstorming is just one of many techniques that make a company creative. It is of little value if it’s not combined with observing consumers, talking to experts, or building prototype products and experiences that provide an outlet for the ideas generated. I’ve worked with “creative” companies that are great at coming up with ideas, but never implement them. I once studied a team that spent a year brainstorming and arguing about a simple product without producing a single prototype, even though a good engineer could have built one in an hour. The project was finally killed when a competitor came out with a similar product.

Since the agency biz relies so heavily on brainstorms, I’m confident we can generate some additions to Business Week’s list. For instance: Do not attempt to moderate a brainstorm session without a copious supply of M&M’s.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.