You know the feeling, staring into a blank computer screen, desperate to come up with Your Great Novel or Next Big Startup Smash or Fancy New Program That Will Delight Everyone.
Dullness fills your brain, and desperation rises from your chest into your throat as you realize that you have no ideas, or ideas so lame you would be laughed off the Internet.
It sounds like time for an IDEA PARTY!
First described by the pioneering Barbara Sher, an idea party is a gathering of smart, creative and funny humans for the sole purpose of creating a burst of ideas and inspiration.
Like a good pot of stew, ingredients are everything.
I suggest inviting types of people like:
- Jeff “I Live to Brainstorm” Livingston
- Wayne “I Don’t Say Much But When I Do The Room Stops” Gonzalez
- Nancy “Life Should Have a Tagline” Yee
You may NOT want to invite:
- Debbie “It Will Never Work” Downer
- Fred “Find a Fault in Anything” Fredrickson
- Joe “Let’s Turn the Conversation Around to Me” Jackson
How to hold an idea party
- Send out invites to 15-20 of your favorite crazy thinkers
- Invite them to bring a dish to share, or provide crackers, cheese and beverages yourself
- Find a comfortable spot where you can throw flipchart paper around, lay down, sit up, stand up, dance and eat
- Provide Post-it (TM) flip chart paper, colorful pens, crayons, post-it notes and good music
- Have a couple of linked up laptops handy for Google searches
- Fire up Evernote or equivalent to capture ideas
- Introduce your key idea party topic, like “New killer product for 2012” or “My Epic Business Book“
- Hand the flip chart pen to the most artistic and skilled facilitator
- Invite your participants to go crazy with ideas
- Film, document and party to your heart’s desire
You know what would make me happy? If you held an Idea Party and reported back about it here. It is only Wednesday — there is plenty of time to get one set up by Saturday!