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You have generated 80 Post-it … to finally retain only 3.

But where is this innovative idea that you have been waiting for ?

Eliminated, rejected, forgotten … oh  no ! Brainstorming is a creative and divergent exercise. Its goal is to generate as many ideas as possible, good ones as well as bad ones . It is followed by a convergence phase which aims at selecting the best ideas and that drastically cuts into the lot. This is the accepted way to acheive some useful outcome since no one can imagine to pursue all the ideas …

Okay, but wait a minute, the reality is that there remains some jewels in the rejected ideas, simply because they are only drafts, fugitive genius ideas expressed only with a few words, sometimes even hardly understood by their authors. They have no chance to stand out in the selection, crushed by more practical and classic ideas.

So make it a habit to add a step to your process. Before you start the selection, take a break. Then classify your ideas into a table made of 4 boxes. Horizontally sort them according to how classic or original they are and vertically according to their improvement potential, from low to high. Then select one from the category « Original & High Potential » and spend 15 minutes improving the idea. Take a positive mood and make the idea work ! I suggest that you try the « 6 thinking hats » technique if you know it already.

Then pursue with your usual selection process … or even better, present this idea separately and find it a sponsor.