Category Archives: Creative Thinking

Dare to Dream

There are a lot of association management practices and general management theories focused on advancing organizations, but, when it comes down to it, if you want to propel your organization to the next level: dare to dream. This thought was crystalized for me when, going around the room at the end of a board leadership development session I conducted, a board member said the most important thing he heard all day was “dare to dream.” Dream not about what is, but about what’s possible.

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8 Reasons for Creating Task Forces

Although many associations are best served with a small number of governance committees, associations are better served with a task force system than a standing (non-Board) committee system. Milton Berle raised one argument against committees when he said, “A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.” But, there are other reasons to convert to a task force system for accomplishing association work.

Using task forces creates an opportunity to engage more members. This is especially important considering lack of engagement is cited as the number one reason for member attrition. Further, engaging a larger number of members creates an opportunity...

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Brainstorming: Barriers and Guidelines

In an earlier post, I wrote about the six stages that are basic to good brainstorming. Understanding barriers to creative thinking and following the six guidelines below will enhance the success of any brainstorming session.

Barriers to Creative Thinking

J. Geoffrey Rawlinson, in his book on creative thinking, argues that barriers to creative thinking can be overcome in brainstorming sessions by identifying the barriers up front with the audience. The theory goes that if you identify and accept the barriers as barriers they are removed as barriers. After conducting brainstorming sessions around the world for almost 3 decades, I tend to agree with Rawlinson. The benefit of discussing the barriers is especially true when dealing with audiences that are analytical in nature, such is often the case with managers.

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Six Stages of Brainstorming

The power of brainstorming as a creative thinking technique is enhanced by engaging the six stages of brainstorming during a brainstorming session. Although brainstorming has been used since the 1930’s and many, if not most, people have engaged in informal brainstorming, few have led formal brainstorming sessions. To get maximum benefit from a brainstorming session, it is important that brainstorming session leaders understand the six stages.

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