Ever felt like someone else was cramping your creative style in a brainstorm meeting? Your idea was THE ONE and their ideas just aren’t quite on brand…yeah, welcome to the club. At points, we all think our ideas are the ones that are on brand, great, creative, blah blah blah. At Everywhere, the social media agency I work for, we brainstorm ideas on a daily basis. And I literally mean everyday. It’s how we are wired, and it’s what makes us effective. In going through this process daily and going through a month long brainstorm process currently, I keep asking myself, “what makes people think their ideas are right?” and “why are they taking that angle on these tasks at hand?” Well, it’s easy, they play a different position on the field of brainstorming. Everyone has a different role, here they are…
The weird person, the one who all but crosses their legs and says, “hummm…” This person births good ideas for the entire group to ponder about. Sometimes, this person has a tough time getting past the birthing stage though.
This person typically does have much creative input, but they are talented at carrying messages back and forth from person to person. They are the person galloping on the horse between villages making sure everyone knows what each other is saying. Their interpreting skills are stellar, thus allowing everyone in the meeting to be on the same page.
The Connector (The Middle Man)
This individual picks up where The Generator left off, and punts the idea further down the field. They are creative, smart and detailed oriented because they start to inject tactics, execution and mechanics into the creative idea. This person brings ideas down from the clouds and straps ropes to it.
The person who observes all other participant ideas and mannerisms. This is the semi-sketchy person writing notes, but never talking. And when he or she does speak, it is calculated and piercing. Sometimes this person can toss in a dose of reality that throws the group for a loop (rhyme intended)
We all know this one…the person who is a step above (or below depending on what they say) The Generator, channeling everything they have to the group. Some ideas good, some terrible. They thrive on putting it all out there and taking what is applicable.
The grandma or granddad of the group who makes sure all ideas, comments and interaction stay on topic and inline. This person can be seen as the sage who makes sure all of the skaters stay within the brand rink.
The capitalizer. This person is the one with the blinking lightbulb over their head. They say, “AHA!” They pick up where The Connector left off and slam dunk the developed idea into the goal of polished strategies or tactics.
Of course there can be more positons on the brainstorm field, but these are what I have seen the most of and what I’ve seen so far. All have good and bad qualities to them, because we’re human, remember? So, remember these positions the next time you walk into the meeting – I promise it will help you have a better understanding of why people are acting and saying the way they do.
What position are you? Which position do you not like?