Don’t Brainstorm on a Cold Start

Insight #324

Don’t expect their cold brains to produce good ideas.

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Snow and ice still numb me. Even after 20 years. That’s how long I have been on this side of the equator after swapping hemispheres. Today I automatically drive on the right (correct?) side of the road. And I no longer expect Christmas to be hot and spring to be autumn. But, as I said, snow and ice still numb me.

Snow and ice also numb my car tires. Which is why I warm up my tires before I speed on the highway.

You do know you should warm your tires before speeding? Come on! Surely you’ve seen how motor cycle racers warm their tires before they race. Warm rubber is softer and grips the road better, allowing you to weave with ease as you annoy cold-tired drivers in rush hour traffic.

Hopefully, you will remember this when you get to the office to speed through another brainstorming session.

If you want your team to lose mind control, then ask them to begin by conjuring up good ideas. No brain can weave and swerve and speed up and brake unless properly warmed up. Cold brains will simply give the boss what the boss wants to hear. (Do you want to know why this happens? Read this Insight: Why Brainstorming Has a Boring Bonus.)

Don’t start up by saying, “Right, who has a good idea?” That’s the equivalent of a cold start for a cold brain. Good ideas will only come swerving in after a gentle warm-up.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

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