The term “brainstorming,” and new derivatives of it like brainswarming and mind mapping, are tossed around a lot, along with a zillion ways to find the most success with each strategy. It’s been used to combat writer’s block, inspire creative thinking and jump-start problem-solving, but these fields are certainly not the only place you’ll find use in brainstorming—nor should they be.
Stepping away from the day-to-day routine to brainstorm helps churn out fresh ideas, evaluate options and make good decisions. Here are five reminders as to why brainstorming is so beneficial to your business:
1. You’re reinvigorated with fresh ideas.
Differentiating yourself from the next brand is critical to your long-term survival, and without a mechanism for generating fresh, innovative ideas, your products and services can become obsolete. Don’t fall prey to predictability—brainstorm to equip yourself with out-of-the-box opportunities that can help you reexamine your brand, assess competition and develop cutting-edge practices that impact the bottom line.
2. Distractions are removed.
Let’s face it, multitasking is a myth, and distractions are everywhere. But when you own your own business, it’s your responsibility to clear your plate so you can think big-picture. Set aside a specific window of time to brainstorm so you can ignore those day-to-day operations distractions and focus on larger key tasks.
3. It enables better evaluation.
The process of brainstorming isn’t just for generating new ideas; it can be used for evaluation as well. Evaluating with a brainstorming mindset allows you to reach beyond the surface, think critically and find greater purpose as you expand the scope of your business. As an added benefit, it’ll help you eliminate feelings of stress as you process and evaluate ideas at a high level.
4. Brainstorming creates a process.
Systems and processes are great ways to improve competencies in business, and brainstorming is a valuable system that can help you manage resources, measure capabilities and quantify progress. You can use it to work on virtually every aspect of your business, execute short- and long-term planning and calculate specific results.
5. Results are guaranteed.
Whatever results you seek in your business—cornering the market, increased profits, repeat clients and more—brainstorming helps you create a fertile environment for capturing results through planning, preparation and analyzing progress. Be proactive, push beyond your comfort zone and positively impact the bottom line using this process.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level by embracing the power of brainstorming?
This article was published in December 2014 and has been updated. Photo by fizkes/Shutterstock
A leading authority on leadership development and organizational performance management, Karima Mariama-Arthur brings more than 25 years of comprehensive, blue chip experience in law, business and academia to every client engagement. A shrewd advisor to distinguished organizations from DC to Dubai, her expert insights help clients to successfully navigate today's ever-changing and competitive global business environment. Karima is the author of the internationally acclaimed and 2019 NAACP Image Award nominated leadership guidebook, Poised For Excellence: Fundamental Principles of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond (Palgrave Macmillan), which launched at the United States Military Academy at West Point. As an extension of her work, she speaks regularly both nationally and internationally in her areas of expertise and serves in an advisory capacity on select corporate boards.