A wonderful tool that is hardly ever thought of and infinitely more effective are brainstorms. There are many industries being interrupted by new technologies or habit changes of users. A good example is marketing itself. What used to work isn’t working so well anymore. But is everything going electronic – I personally doubt it. It needs to be a customized mix.
In marketing, there are the typical tools you see in every book on the shelf like newsletters, websites, blogs, etc. And then there are some that are much more unique.
I occasionally offer a brainstorm to past clients, current clients, and sometimes possible alliance partners who are a bit stuck and could benefit from a good group think. ( I use the word group loosely – it may just be two of us!)
Brainstorming is a great visual thinking tool. Getting things out on paper or whiteboard has a way of connecting ideas, inspiring new ones, seeing connections and possibilities. It’s a great tool if you are in a competitive industry and want to excavate some differentiation.
I have offered a brainstorm on occasion for one to two hours. People are knocked over by the generosity of it – it always comes back. But, most of all, I enjoy it. It inspires me and juices my own creativity. It helps to keep me sharp and I always come away with some ideas for myself or others.
If creativity isn’t your top strength, take a look at what you could offer. Perhaps it’s strategy, maybe leadership, or customer service. Make a list on paper of all the things that are missing. You might uncover a tool that sets you apart from all your competition.
Hey, when you do, share it with us.