Hi everybody Melissa Love here. Before your next brainstorming session, to make sure that the creative juices are absolutely flowing, I want you to ask everyone to come into a room and pair up. These pairs of people are going to have a conversation. They’re going to plan a trip to the moon together. However, every single sentence after the first sentence has to start with the words “not only that”. It would go something like this,
player A starts off by saying, “Let’s go on a trip to the moon.”
Player B says, “Not only that, let’s take a bucket full of puppies.”
Player A says, “Not only that, let’s take my mom and my dad.”
Player B says, “Not only that, I want to make sure that our rocket ship is completely bedazzled.”
Player A says. Not only that, let’s take these dolphins that I saw once at the Mirage. Super simple. Make sure to keep it positive and steer clear of asking questions or telling your partner no.
“Not only that” is another way to illustrate the philosophy behind improv, which is “Yes, And”. If you have read anything about improv, you’ve probably heard about this. By saying the word “yes” to somebody agrees with it. Then following the word, ‘yes’, with the word ‘and’ helps you to build on your partner’s idea.
Building on one another’s idea is exactly what a brainstorming session
is supposed to be about. Right? What this will also do is short circuit those naysayers in the group, those people that like to say, No, no, that’s not going to work. Maybe you’re one of those people. They have this imaginary box, this objective for what you’re supposed to be doing in this brainstorming session and they tend to skip right to the elimination stage.
Let’s all make sure we are coloring outside the lines, completely, during every brainstorm. The next time that you find yourself in a brainstorming session, kick it off with a little “Not only that” and encourage your teammates to plan a trip to the moon together. I promise, it’s going to kickstart those creative juices and make for a much better brainstorming session had by all.