We've all been in a meeting where we were asked to brainstorm. The concept is familiar. Everyone involved writes out everything they can think of on the given topic, even if it seems strange, silly, or not quite practical, because sometimes, as we let our brains really run, we come across a solution or idea that just works. Brainstorms help you think about an old topic in a new way and can be great for innovations and inventions. Brainstorms get you out of the mental rut and help you re-approach a situation with fresh eyes.
Comedian Dean Burnett, describes his epilepsy as a type of “brainstorm” in a clever article he has written for The Guardian. He uses the term brainstorm both to describe the frenetic physical activity of his brain during a seizure, but also the strange and interesting ideas that have come to him as a result of seizures. As he recovers from a seizure, he says his brain makes associations that he would not otherwise have made, it has often been fuel for his comedy and writing.
In his article “Brainstorm In A Teacup: Can Epilepsy Fuel Creativity?” he describes this creative perk,
“That shake-up of the mind, that brainstorm (yes, I’m co-opting the term) often gives me strange ideas, vivid images, words connected bizarrely – as if someone had emptied the toy box of my mind and joined together bits of mental Lego and a Rubik’s cube and produced something that no one had seen before. As a writer and comedian, it has given me some bizarre nuggets of comedy…”
Of course, no one is suggesting that inducing seizures is a great business strategy when you are looking to solve problems or innovate solutions. However, you can take a page out of Burnett's book, and use every circumstance at your disposal, even the negative ones, as a chance to look at thing differently. What perspective do you have that no one else has? Where can your experiences help you identify problems no one else sees? How do your strange and unexpected thoughts lead you to better ideas? These are questions worth asking yourself, if you want to learn to think like a business revolutionary.
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