Attack of the Killer Brainstorm
Tony B, Creative Dude from Windsor Crossing in STL and my friend :-)
Tony is an animated, hilarious guy who worked for several years as a creative strategists for an ad/brand agency. He now works in ministry doing similar stuff, but with, as he said, "soul impact."
We opened up by brainstorming a no-budget birthday party for a 6 year-old boy who likes cars and turtles. It was a fun exercise to stretch our imaginations within some parameters. He came back to this thought later.
He briefly walked through two categories of brainstorming problems that he has witnessed: Process and Professional Problems. For example, the parade of "no, duh!" ideas, the theologian in blue jeans (i.e. can't give an elevator explanation), the laptopper (often me), etc.
He argued that these problems are the difference between "utter awesomeness and a big bag of barf." He like to use very poetic language :)
Tony reminded us that we have the Holy Spirit who has filled us. It all starts there. He said that moving from his numbing job as an ad guy to a creative dude in ministry, was like "finally rolling in the grand piano and now learning to tune it and play it to his best ability."
Tony's ideas for better brainstorms:
1. Separate your "to-think" meetings from your "to-do" meetings
2. Your team should be like a joke without the punchline (a joke most often is filled with people that normally don't go together)
3. Don't think outside the box...think inside the circle, the circle of your creative community. He said what we all think these days "we're tired of the Box metaphor." The metaphor was created when Disney generated the9-point puzzle. Parameters (see above) help us to be even more creative.
4. Ditch the 'doh - toys rarely, if ever, help us be more creative. They distract.
5. Creative environments don't often generate better ideas - people do. He showed us images of his former employer - this totally rad place, but he said it was just as stifling. They'd have to leave.
6. Walk the Roads - take notes about everything that you encounter on the roads. Jesus used metaphors that he gathered from walking out among the people.
Tony said corporations are paying big bucks for this "new" idea of walking the roads - paying creatives to just go to a bar and be a fly on the wall and listen to people's stories, interests, hobbies. We'd be amazed at the things that influence us each day.
On that note, Tony showed us a video. It was so good, I wanted to embed it here for you to see (update: hit the link above...they've disabled the embed).