Markus Gull

Brainstorming? - Keep your hands off other people's brains!

NEW - that's the magic word for everything. In advertising anyway, but otherwise as well. We are addicted to the new - innovation is the life source of companies. If you don't constantly reinvent yourself, you're old news. But how do you invent something new? How does one invent? Where do ideas come from and what is the best way to produce them? And: What is the difference between an idea and creativity?


If we can't think of anything, there's definitely one more thing we can think of: Brainstorming! This is the most popular creative technique of all and has two advantages: If you can't think of anything yourself, then maybe someone else has an idea. And if no one else comes up with anything either, you'll notice it less.


Kevin Ashton is an inventive man, works at the renowned MIT, founded several companies and invented the term Internet of Things, among other things. He deals extensively with the origin of ideas and the secret of inventiveness. And he also has a clear opinion on brainstorming. In short: it doesn't work. Brainstorming is a waste of time. Kevin Ashton has written a crisp article on this subject. You can find it here.


Oh yes, he also wrote a book about it: "How to fly a horse". You can read more about it here. The book is also available in German, unsurprisingly called "Wie man ein Pferd fliegt" (How to fly a horse) and is hereby recommended to you and quickly put on your table by your motivated bookseller.


Inspiration is important either way. One of the most inspired - and therefore inspiring - people I have ever discovered is Austin Kleon - a writer who draws. He himself was inspired by a thought from Pablo Picasso: "Good artists copy, excellent artists steal." This explains the title of Austin Kleon's book "Steel like an artist". His website offers creative minds plenty of inspiration - without a goal, but always with a result. Often with answers in which you only discover what you actually wanted to ask yourself. Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter is also always full of beautiful surprises that not only nourish the soul, but also provide wonderful starting points for hours of highly productive procrastination.


In this sense: have fun stealing, keep your hands off other people's brains and rather fly your own horse. And remember the phrase of my grandmother, old Story Dudette, which she embroidered on the cover of her favourite cushion even before the invention of brainstorming, flipcharting and mindmapping: "No Story. No Glory."


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