BUSINESS MARKETING: Brainstorming? Don’t do it alone

2013-06-08T16:03:00Z BUSINESS MARKETING: Brainstorming? Don’t do it aloneLarry Galler Times Business Columnist
June 08, 2013 4:03 pm  • 

Creative types (you know who you are) have pretty big egos.

They like to think they are the only ones who can formulate an idea, translate it and articulate it so others can grasp the concept, follow it through to conclusion, and inspire others to drink the proverbial Kool-Aid.

Most creatives spend their creative time alone, doodling, spreadsheeting, thinking, writing, sketching, pondering and filling up wastebaskets of crumpled, discarded paper. But doing it alone allows a major downside: taking mental shortcuts.

When working alone there is no censor, no filters, no one to hold you accountable for your assumptions, your leaps of faith. No one to ask hard questions. No one to make you sweat the details (as iconic modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details”).

So next time your creative muse starts whispering in your ear, don't jump to conclusions conjuring magnificent successes or dismal failures all by yourself. Instead stop, take a deep breath, and jot down the concept and perhaps outline some brief possibilities if the idea is taken beyond the pipe dream stage. Then invite a small group of people whose insight you respect and who are not afraid to disagree with you or each other to a meeting. Present the concept and some possible outcomes of both what success and failure might look like. Then sit back, listen, and take notes.

I guarantee you will hear things you never would have thought to consider: alternatives, risk assessments, complications and different ways of looking at the issues. The results of group synergy can be amazing. One person takes the original concept and adds a comment which is added on to by others. In a few minutes the original concept might morph into something far different, often much better, then the original.

Ultimately, if the concept is to gain traction, decisions will need to be made, action steps created and an implementation calendar with review dates drawn up. Rather than do it all by yourself, synergize. The results can be much better and your ego will rejoice in greater success.


Opinions are solely the writer's. Larry Galler, of Larry Galler & Associates, is a marketing and management consultant for small and mid-size companies. Get Galler’s special report, “Customer Service by Intention,” by email. Just send an email to put “Intention” in the subject line

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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