Sleepless Nights, Inspired Mornings... Creating Gainstorming has been a Labor of Love.
Designer, Creative Director, and Founder of Gainstorming®, a 12-year project dedicated to finding creative shortcuts to Focus.
It was 2009, I had just completed two-and-a-half decades of successful service in visual communications, marketing, and new product development. I longed to discover the next chapter in my life. So I began searching ... for something ... anything that might inspire a new idea.
One day, mid 2010, this search led me to a book, Making Ideas Happen, by Scott Belsky:
"Ideas don’t happen because they are great—or by accident. The misconception that great ideas inevitably lead to success has prevailed for too long. Whether you have the perfect solution for an everyday problem or a bold new concept for a creative masterpiece, you must transform vision into reality. Far from being some stroke of creative genius, this capacity to make ideas happen can be developed by anyone." – Scott Belsky
Two lines: “the perfect solution for an everyday problem” and “the capacity to make ideas happen can be developed by anyone,” got me thinking. Was there an everyday problem I could find the perfect solution for?
Not satisfied with the first things that came to mind, I thought long and hard about what it could be.
Then one morning (six months later) it hit me.
I hated unproductive meetings. The ones that went too long. The ones where people talked on and on and on and on about irrelevant things. The ones where you stop listening and start thinking about what your life might be like if you weren’t in that meeting. The ones with no actions or decisions to agree on at the end. The ones with... [fill in the uncomfortable blank].
Like most of us, I’d been in unproductive meetings, and I’d been in incredibly productive meetings. What was it that happened in the great ones that didn’t happen in the bad ones, and whatever that was, could it become a repeatable thing?
The first step was to research meeting models that already existed. All had valid solutions, but there was something missing -- they were either too complicated or, unfortunately, took too long, so were not something you’d want to engage with often.
I discovered it’s not just about having an agenda. It’s not just about starting and ending on time. It’s not just about standing up instead of sitting down. It's not just about having the right people in the room ...
It’s about CREATIVE FOCUS.
I’ve not been in an unproductive meeting since 2014.
A surprising system was born, now known as the Gainstorming® Creative Focus Accelerator.