posted on June 12, 2012 10:59
As one of Michigan’s awesome (awesomest?) full-service production companies, MessageMakers produces creative videos (corporate, educational, and nonprofit) that help influence others to take action. Our tagline, “experiences that transform,” is meant to convey the idea that creating innovative experiences requires good storytelling.
(For daily innovation, check out our Facebook page.)
Our stories, like any story, start with many viable ideas. Part of our job is to find ways of narrowing our potential choices, AKA brainstorming. If you’ve ever been involved with a session, it can be … overwhelming. People are throwing out ideas, quiet people are being drowned out, and sometimes you might get the loudest idea instead of the best one.
One of the ways to avoid brainstorming pitfalls is to change the process to something more helpful. So, what’s a better way?
How about visual brainstorming—or, as it is defined in the article:
“Collaboratively generating ideas without using the spoken or written word. You might use objects which teams put together to solve problems. You might use arts and crafts materials such as coloured construction paper, tape, string, card, pens and the like. You might use people to create improvisational role plays.”
Sure, it sounds like an activity session at a day care, but it makes sense when you think about the way it engages the creative process. For example, there is a hypothetical situation in which a software company that wants to “speed up the process by which new features are specified, approved and implemented.”
“A collection of small dolls, building blocks and satay sticks allow brainstormers to simulate people, places, tools and workflow. The dolls, of course, represent people. The building blocks can be made to represent computers, buildings and other structures. The satay sticks can show workflow direction. Thus, the team can build a model of the current process and modify it to improve efficiency.”
Humans are visual animals. It’s not hard to say why visualizing something first is incredibly helpful for us. The idea behind storyboarding and placing sticky notes basically is the same: It helps you identify what’s important.