What does great brainstorming look like? “Think of it as a mosh pit of ideas. People are colliding,” says Steve Van Valin, CEO of Culturology. “The session has a flow to it. You stay open to the second right idea, or the third or the fourth. That’s how you find not just good solutions, but great ones.”

Van Valin passionately believes that effective brainstorming can transform organizations. He’ll be sharing his insights on how companies can harness the power of brainstorming at Strategic Curiosity: Creating the Mindset for Innovation, a professional development seminar we’re holding on June 20.

He also has some thoughts on why so many brainstorming sessions get derailed. “The universal human tendency is to go right to judgment. If we feel rushed or hurried, we’re not in curious mode. We want to reach closure on things. Closure is good. But if you want to create great solutions – not just good solutions – you want to stay open, step back for a few minutes and be able to say ‘Here’s another place it could go.’”

More Than One Right Solution

Why is brainstorming so important? “The first right idea you come up with has logic applied – it’s obvious low-hanging fruit. It would probably work. It probably doesn’t require a lot of massaging to get approval. But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th right ideas have more connective tissue to something that is fabulous and fantastic. If you’re a business person, those are the ideas that can change the experience for your customer and your employees, and set your brand apart.”

Prior to forming Culturology, Van Valin helped lead QVC’s internal Pioneering Spirit initiative to create a culture where employees embraced new ideas with enthusiasm. “How do you make that real for 10,000 employees? It can’t just be a poster on the wall.” Teaching teams how to ask the right questions – not only during brainstorming sessions but every day – was key.

During our upcoming workshop, Van Valin will lay out the five essential rules to brainstorming. Attendees will learn how to ask the right questions to transform company culture to a more innovation-savvy environment.

For more information or to register for this session, click here.