8 Zen Tips For Collaborative Brainstorming
Using mindfulness, and community to creatively solve problems
In my work as a mentor, and creativity motivator I am often asked to lead brainstorming groups.
Many of my projects are part of the sharing economy. Here I apply ideas I have taken from my Transformational Zen studies and from applied game theory.
One of the most powerful tools for creativity and community is called collaborative intelligence. In collaborative intelligence (CI), a number of individuals, often with the support of technology, share and distribute ideas. What makes this concept different than simple old-style brainstorming is that with CI each agent, human or machine, is autonomously contributing to a problem-solving network.
CI actually reflects what happens in natural environments. It is the collaborative autonomy of organisms in their ecosystems that makes evolution possible.
In natural ecosystems, each organism’s unique signature is derived from its genetics, circumstances, behavior, and position in its ecosystem. This construct offers us easy to understand and apply principles for the design of next-generation social networks. It is these very social networks that support collaborative intelligence, crowdsourcing individual expertise, preferences, and unique contributions in any problem-solving process.
In the process of problem-solving and making effective choices, it is invaluable to have a collaborative support team to eliminate the unnecessary struggle. In addition, such a support team can assist us in maximizing our effectiveness, efficiency, precision, productivity, and self-awareness. In my personal and business life, I use a simple approach I have named Collaborative Support Triangles to achieve this.
A Collaborative Support Triangles support is any group of three people who come together in the agreement to consistently support each other in being extraordinary and to achieve a common result. Usually, these groups meet weekly or monthly either physically or on Zoom call. The primary goal in these meetings is to brainstorm, while also motivating, informing, and inspiring one another.
Doing this is seldom a chore. We all need a sense of community and what can be better than a group of people with a common proactive vision? Because of the push and pull of daily living as well as the reactive and often negative world around us, it is easy to have breakdowns in maintaining consistency in the fulfillment of our goals and visions. One of the core natural laws that guide human behavior is the desire to connect with others, to create community. The Collaborative Support Triangle is a powerful tool for these positive environments.
1. Set a Goal. You can’t have a great brainstorming session unless you define exactly what it is that you’re aiming to do. I call this an end-game…
2. Be Selective With the Invite List. This not a training session for newbies. If you want a session that produces creative results invite creative thinkers.
3. Assign Homework or required research in Advance. …
4. Find a Change of Scenery. Have the meeting in a place that is not familiar to anyone in the group.
5. Timing Is Everything. Choose, or control when something should be done, including a particular point or period of time when something happens.
6. Bring Whole Food Snacks. I’m not getting New Age on you here. Sugary stuff affects blood sugar and can cloud thinking and emotional responses. Also, have lots of coffee, green tea, and cocoa. Caffeine can help get the brain juices flowing.
7. Leadership. There always needs to be a leader in a collaborative intelligence brainstorming session. If you need to leave designate a Leader. …
8. Create a Welcoming Environment. Pre-plan the brainstorming environment with plants, crystal, music, or whatever else will be needed. Use Feng shui, environment psychology, etc.
On a More Personal Note
I have found that effective Collaborative Support Triangles (a group of 3) have assisted me in transcending a personal crisis. Many people have very difficult lives and are truly committed to being more effective in every way. Humans by nature get some gratification from helping or serving others. It is often true that one person’s effort is more or less insignificant unless linked with others, all striving to the same end.
In the process of problem-solving, making effective choices, and isolating effective solutions it is invaluable to have a collaborative support team to eliminate the unnecessary struggle.
I am always exploring trends, innovations, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. If you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com
Any collaborative brainstorming process must have a sense of meaning at its core. Here is a
Author: Lewis Roshi (Lewis Harrison) is an author, practical philosopher, and seminar leader. He and the founder and senior teacher at the Wisdom Path Community, a spiritually-oriented social network-based group that focuses on the spiritual journey rather than rites, rituals, ceremonies, or dogmatic practices.
“My website is AskLewis.com and I can be emailed directly at LewisCoaches@gmail.com…”