Monday, March 3, 2008

The Brainstorm Facilitator

In a recent post on The Heart of Innovation, it details what is crucial for a brain storming facilitator. Without a great leader, brain storming sessions can turn out to be a waste of time. However, this blog gives us 10 different hats that a facilitator must wear. What are they?

1) The Conductor – You have to get everyone to participate in the meeting. Listen to everyone, and get everyone to contribute something.
2) The Alchemist – Turning lead into gold. Figure out how to transform the ideas into attainable actions that can lead to great things.
3) The Dancer -- Gracefully navigate all areas of the session. Keep the flow going after different suggestions that may not work.
4) The Mad Scientist – If something really creative surges, go with the flow. Get others input on it. Keep the ideas flowing and the idea could be way better than the first.
5) Diamond Cutter – According to The Heart of Innovation, the brain storm facilitator must have three critical components: focused, precise, and dedicated. They can’t be afraid to cut right to the point, keep others on track and know exactly what needs to be accomplished.
6) The Actor – Act like you’re ready to go, interested and everyone will soon follow. If the group sees you’re ready to come up with a few ideas, they’ll quickly follow and be ready to come up with a few of their own.
7) Environmentalist -- One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You can find value in almost anything, make sure something doesn’t get overlooked.
8) Officer of the law – Keep everyone and everything in line. Patrol the conversation
9) Servant – It’s not your soap box for this meeting, listen to others and what they’ve got to say.
10) Stand Up Comic – Provide humor in the situation. Free flowing ideas are more likely to come if the mood is light.

Collaboration leads to innovation. What better way than getting your employees together to figure out what needs improvement. Bring in employees from different departments or different offices. As long as they have a great facilitator, fresh new ideas will surface. What do you see as the hardest roll to fulfill?

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