She’ll be right … or will she?
My favourite bit of brainstorming is coming up with everything that could conceivably go wrong with a project, product, campaign, launch, business plan etc.
Apart from being great fun, this process really helps you anticipate and avoid pitfalls you might otherwise never consider.
So let’s give it some thought.
When I worked full time for an advertising agency, there was a business development manager with a psychology degree and a passion for brainstorming. (He’d probably cite something like this.)
As I had a reputation for ‘unusual ideas’, he often invited me to his brainstorming sessions.
As a participant, I didn’t have to bother with theory.
I was free to let imagination run riot.
One day, this guy wanted to foolproof an EXTREMELY BIG business pitch.
We started slow, with easy stuff like:
As the coffee and cookies flowed (he always supplied the good stuff) we went up a notch to:
- Contributor blurts content to competitor over drinks.
- IT system gets infected with virus.
- Paper jam ignites sole A3 printer at last minute.
Then we started to cut loose with:
- Disgruntled administrative assistant executes chronic vendetta by ‘losing’ master file.
- Lighting strikes satellite dish, razing office to ground.
- Terrorists target remote data storage site.
As time passed, we got crazier and crazier; each way-out idea sparking more.
And because this guy followed correct brainstorming protocol (i.e. do NOT shoot ideas down in flames in Phase 1) we felt free to give our minds full rein.
Naturally, when the sober Phase 2 came round, most of our contributions were dismissed as insane.
And yet, just as a kernel of truth resides in every joke, each fantastic confabulation got the bid team thinking about a potential real-world threat.
This must have helped.
We got the gig.
The demons that haunt The Feisty Empire are:
- That result in very rude swear words.
- Which reside in global communications.
- That can’t be changed.
- And are highly visible to clients, prospects and competitors.
Mulling this worst-case scenario always impels me to do one more check, no matter how tired I am.
I’d now like to brainstorm what could possibly go wrong in your business.
If you start us off, I bet we’ll list things you never imagined.
It’s a bit of fun, yes.
But it could also save your commercial hide.
So what do you