If there is one thing that I have learnt over the years, it is the fact that you can never tell what might inspire the best solutions. Sometimes the triggers for rational thought can be the most stupendously outrageous suggestions thinkable but for some reason they are the perfect prequel to getting a really great idea.

The art of traditional creative brainstorming is about accepting ALL ideas without judgement or prejudice. Can you imagine working for a company which requires all members of staff to get involved in creating new ways of doing things – from the cleaning staff to the highest executives – from the work-experience school girls/boys to the highly qualified experts – all treated with respect, all encouraged to add their suggestions?

There is a wonderful story of a company needing to design a way of getting the ‘less-able’ residents upstairs easily. They came up with an innovative solution which consisted of a pole with a hydraulic system to which a seat was attached. This was the result of engineers being inspired by a moment of hilarity caused by witty suggestion of installing an upside-down fireman’s pole. **

Regardless of whether we are looking to solve a problem or rise to a new challenge the process should be the same. If you are working with a group of creative and adventurous individuals you love and trust then the journey can be so much more exciting and enjoyable.

I am fortunate in that I belong to an incredible mastermind group of individuals who at one time or another can throw in some of the most crazy ideas imaginable. The Bristol Boardroom has an abundance of creative talent, valuable expertise and immense humour – a fertile mix offering incredible perspectives that really help you to see the wood for the trees. I do have friends who want to help but they think that I am just totally bonkers and can get rather scared about my ideas. My Boardroom group on the other hand, will happily indulge my desire to find new ways to find solutions being even more willing to explore alternative ways of doing things themselves.

I often wonder how the most ludicrous can inspire the most practical ideas. What about you? Have you experienced really ridiculous offerings that have inspired great solutions?

**I did do a Google search to find the original story for you about the upside-down-fireman’s-pole idea but came up with all sorts of fascinating pole dancing alternatives which were rather ….. ahem … interesting! Didn’t think it was appropriate to add a link though!

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